By Jay Hunt, Inside Sales Associate, ReStore for Retail
Following a recent commercial flight I took, I immediately pulled out my cell phone and opened a rideshare app to schedule a ride to my destination. This really started me thinking about how technologies are shaping the way we live, work, and connect.
It’s easy to believe that e-commerce will replace brick-and-mortar stores the same way rideshare applications have transformed the way we get from point A to point B. Many believed, and may still believe, that brick-and-mortar stores will one day become obsolete. However, retail stores aren’t going away. Instead, they are evolving and adapting to work alongside e-commerce. This evolution is creating whole new levels of in-store expectations that can make or break a retailer.
When you schedule a rideshare, you expect it to arrive on time, the car to be clean and the driver to be friendly. These are all factors that can make or break a customer’s experience with a brand. This also applies to a customer’s experience in a retail store. Online shopping can be a forgiving experience compared to a customer’s in-store experience, which relies on human engagement. Most customers who have a bad experience in-store, whether a result of cleanliness, friendliness, or any other factor, rarely forget those bad experiences.
There’s a shoe brand I’ve been particularly loyal to for over 30 years now. This brand offers its customers a wide selection of products, along with a user-friendly e-commerce site and easy returns. However, despite the easy-to-navigate website, I prefer to shop in the stores, not only to try on items before I buy but because of the over-the-top customer experience this brand provides when in the store. The atmosphere inside the stores inspires and motivates me. I get a feeling of nostalgia, like I am about to lace up my shoes and go play for a championship. They have invested considerable resources to ensure there is a consistent and cohesive customer experience no matter what store location I visit.
In recent years, many retailers have been underinvesting in brick-and-mortar stores. This includes investments in employees, technology, and other factors that drive high levels of customer experience.
Brands that create a cohesive in-store experience invest in technology that allows them to drive their best practices. They vary from store to store, and season to season. Retail technology, such as Hilco Global’s ReStore for Retail, provides retailers with the tools they need to implement their best practices.
The in-store customer experience relies heavily on visualization. ReStore for Retail’s Visual Store Experience (VSX) platform provides retail employees with a visual execution tool that allows them to fulfill best practices, such as updating a display, store signage and even cleaning the employee bathroom. As someone who works with retailers all day, I’ve learned that retail employees are visual learners and visual media helps them learn best practices quicker than other forms of learning modalities.
ReStore VSX’s proprietary features drive improved collaboration, streamlined execution, and seamless sharing of best practices across store fleets. Retail operations leaders and teams can now create, execute, and optimize immersive experiences for customers while maintaining consistent store and brand standards. Retail executives can visually monitor the roll-out of campaigns, seasonal changeovers, and standardized store activities all in real time.
About ReStore for Retail
ReStore for Retail is an independent operating unit of Hilco Global, one of the world’s leading retail authorities. To learn more about ReStore for Retail’s tech-enabled solutions, please visit www.restoreforretail.com.