Retail of the Future: What’s Next for Physical Stores?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated the growth of e-commerce, but physical stores are still far from disappearing.
Today, retail businesses have accelerated their digitalization strategies by evolving omnichannel processes, trying to maintain their efficiency and generate added value without affecting their operations, as consumers’ needs to interact virtually with the different points of sale have increased.
This is forcing retailers to improve the experience in physical stores, because, although online shopping will continue to grow at the same or faster rate than before, consumers will also continue to visit physical stores.
You may be interested in: “How to Increase Foot Traffic in stores?“.
In the case of Mexico, for example, an article in Expansion.com reviews that “…. Euromonitor estimates that physical stores will represent 76% of retailers’ sales in Mexico, which means that 24% will come from e-commerce. The analysis also highlights that 84% of consumers in Mexico enjoy shopping both digitally and in physical stores, but want to have the same level of service and variety in both experiences, as well as being able to move from the online site to the physical store or vice versa in the course of the shopping process.
Read the full article here: E-commerce or physical stores? This is what the future of retail looks like
“… Physical stores are far from disappearing. They will continue to be important and we are seeing that some retailers are adopting new roles in them, providing alternatives such as, for example, being experienced centers,” commented Juan Carlos Gómez, industry director for retail and multichannel at Google Mexico, in the same article.”
In this context, it is of vital importance that retailers articulate strategies to combine points of sale with digital channels to give an added and differentiated value.
Also read: “Retail: Benefits of Implementing Real-Time Analytics“.
Among the strategies retailers need to keep their physical stores within the digital competition are location intelligence, geomarekting, and predictive modeling, which enable different types of analytics that maximize revenue and visitation rates, while optimizing costs, expenses, and operational efforts. These analytics includes:
- Site Selection analysis to find the ideal location to establish a point of sale.
- Consumer behavior analysis.
- Mobility analysis to visualize pedestrian footfall in and out of stores.
- Use of predictive models to predict the consumer purchase path, sales, consumer behaviors and/or market trends.
- Big data applied to last mile processes.
Only by including these tools within all operational processes of the retail chain, will allow businesses maintain a competitive edge over online sales, the number of insights and answers that they manage to respond, allow improving decision-making based on historical and future data.
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