The Rise Of E-Commerce Has Created The Need For Experimental Retail

Experimental retail is emerging in the retail sector as e-commerce sites like Amazon rise, creating a new kind of customer who is expecting more.

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In a world that is constantly in flux, sometimes retailers find themselves at a standstill, trying to discover what tools will create success and customer engagement inside brick and mortar stores.  Since consumers have way more options than ever before when it comes to retail, it puts retail leaders in a position to try out new things that will grab customer’s attention and compete with e-commerce sites like Amazon.

This can be referred to as experimental retail, and it is a trend that is pushing new technology tools to the forefront of the retail sector.

“Like Google, brands are jumping on the bandwagon to include experiential retail in their brick-and-mortars or open their own pop-up stores where experiences take center stage,” DigiDay reports.

Digiday uses the example of Google because of the tech giant’s recently debuted pop-up shop in Manhattan, just in time for the holidays. This pop-up shop allows customers to take photos with Google’s new Pixel 2 smartphone, and try out the camera while they holiday shop. Google’s shop is their version of a retail experiment, and achieving customer experience is their ultimate goal.

In-Store Experience

The goal of customer experience seems to be a major theme seen in the retail industry this year. When customers happen to put their phones down and make the trip back into brick and mortar retail shopping, they expect a certain level of experience to keep them satisfied. This could be incorporating anything from elements of entertainment and different technology tools.

“According to the National Retail Federation’s 2017 “Consumer View” report, which polled 3,002 millennial and Gen Z consumers in July 2017, stores are pulling in customers, with 49 percent of those surveyed visiting stores more often than they used to because of new entertainment or food options.”  DigiDay reports.

The in-store experience keeps customers entertained and satisfied. Pop-up shops are an effective way for retailers to experiment what works for their customers and what does not. This trend is seen especially around the holiday season, where customers are shopping more than the rest of the year.

Data Creates Experiments

Retailers are investing in marketing ventures along with data and management tracking. Using data can set professionals up to create the proper experiences that customers will actually enjoy. This method saves time, money and is most effective, and it simply just makes sense. Since we know that consumers are constantly on their phones, that data can be used as an advantage to retailers.

“Everyone is looking to enhance [the customer’s] experience. It is calculated and focused, but a lot more involved than it used to be,” Partee said. “You need to have the info to be able to dissect and give some sort of meaningful outcome. When you have that data, you’re able to say, ‘You should have this tenant mix.'” Forbes reports.

Finding out customer’s shopping habits and preferences is key to creating successful experiments. Information gives retailers power and makes for effective strategies. Data and analytics provide information, like why retailers enter stores in the first place, what they are shopping for and what time they are in the store. All of this data will let professionals set their experiments apart from the competition.

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