Check out Point Inside’s round-up of the top articles in retail and mobile for the week!
Stores take too long to change, and retailers simply don’t have that long – what shoppers want, and how they can get what they want, is changing too fast, and stores are just not keeping up. Retailers should define and own their own brand, express the brand digitally and via stores, and expand the stores’ meaning beyond selling products.
Large-store format companies are losing share to Amazon and other e-commerce sellers and to specialty retailers. The former are able to offer a wider selection than even the largest brick-and-mortar store can and their digital tools make it easy to navigate an otherwise overwhelming number of choices with ease, speed, and precision. The appeal of the latter is an edited, or even curated, selection of goods targeted to specific customers who self-select into shopping at the store — and these smaller stores often provide superior, personalized service.
Whether shoppers are looking for deals, quality or variety, supermarkets continue to be on the losing end, with their share of total grocery spending — about $2 trillion each year — falling to 54.5%. That means their slice of the grocery pie has fallen more than six percentage points since 2007. Warehouse clubs and supercenters continue to be the big winners, with their combined share rising from 25.1% in 2007 to 31.3%.
It seems beacons aren’t as much of a priority for retailers as they once were. For instance, one of the allures of beacons is the technology’s personalization capabilities, as well as their ability to enable targeted offers. Though some retailers currently use beacons for this purpose, fewer plan to use them in the next 18 months. Retailers are currently more invested in customer experience personalization tactics like targeted marketing campaigns, training in-store associates and collecting data on customers’ preferences than they are on in-store technologies such as beacons.
In-store purchases will continue dominating the sector, with 95 percent of consumers planning to buy back-to-school products at bricks-and-mortar stores. However, the biggest takeaway is that 86 percent of shoppers will leverage their smartphones during in-store shopping sessions, primarily to view ratings, look up available discounts and conduct price comparisons.
The U.S. finds itself with an excess of malls. While there are 1,100 enclosed malls nationwide, retail analyst Jan Kniffen recently said that number should be more like 700. In the scramble to fill space, malls are now trying to lure customers with restaurants, movie theaters and now gymnasiums and healthcare—in short, experiences that don't face competition from e-commerce.
To the degree that the Internet of Things and the connected home moves from the early adopters to a more mainstream market, Best Buy sees this in-home advisor business growing more essential. Importantly, this is something Amazon isn’t so well positioned to try. And if Best Buy can turn its Prius-powered Geek Squad into an IT department inside enough homes, it can secure another area of steady growth.
For stores where Target is running Google local inventory ads for patio furniture so mobile users can see what is available nearby, patio revenues are significantly outpacing locations that do not have the ads. In the scramble to fill space, malls are now trying to lure customers with restaurants, movie theaters and now gymnasiums and healthcare—in short, experiences that don't face competition from e-commerce.
Sports Authority shoppers visited Big 5 Sporting Goods locations 5.8 times more than all other sports retailers, while the same customers patronized Walmart 6.9 times more than other big box retailers. So it stands to reason that such consumers will visit those two brands more often and proportionally increase their sales.
Macy’s On Call, accessed via a mobile browser, allows customers to input natural language questions about the store's unique product assortment, services, and facilities. These can include store navigation details, as well offerings such as the myStylist personal shopper program and buy-online-pickup-in-store counters.