It’s no secret retail sales have been on a downward trajectory since the first COVID shutdowns began. Ecommerce, on the other hand, has seen tremendous growth month after month, not only as a result of social distancing guidelines but also due to shifting consumer preferences and buying behavior.

 

The pandemic has effectively altered the landscape and long-term direction of brick-and-mortar retail. But as always, change is an opportunity for growth, and retailers who can adapt will ultimately reap what they sow. Just as technology has allowed e-commerce to flourish, it can also help retailers gain a competitive edge in a post-pandemic world.

 

Read on to learn how brick-and-mortar retailers can use interactive digital signage systems to create a better customer experience and adapt to the changing retail environment.

 

Bridging the Gap Between the Online & Physical Experience

Online, a shopper can get an immersive, multi-channel experience that’s tailored to her personal preferences, historic buying behavior, previous actions, and other unique details. At a brick-and-mortar retailer, the experience usually goes one of two ways:

 

●        The retailer pulls out all the stops to create a satisfying customer experience. Staff does their very best to learn about the shopper and not only accommodate but also anticipate her needs. The shopper feels valued, has a great experience, purchases items, and returns to shop again. She also refers her acquaintances. 

 

●        The retailer takes a more hands-off approach, allowing the customer to browse at their leisure. They don’t gather any information about the shopper and as a result, can’t offer any personalized recommendations or targeted assistance. The shopper feels neglected, as if the retailer really couldn’t care less about getting her business. She leaves with nothing and makes a mental note not to shop there again.  

 

This scenario can be applied to just about any industry. Customers aren’t just looking to purchase things and leave; they’re looking for a personalized experience. If a shopper can get the same product online, but they walk into a store instead, they’re looking for personalized service. Even with social distancing guidelines in place, retailers can give them that experience. That’s where interactive digital signage systems come in.

 

Interactive Digital Signage and the Retail Revolution

People have always turned to technology to enhance their experiences and make their lives easier. Massive e-commerce growth over the last decade offers clear evidence that consumers not only love the convenience of tech-based shopping but also the personalized experience it affords.

 

Why should brick-and-mortar retail be any different? With interactive digital signage systems in place, it doesn’t have to be. While 92% of brick-and-mortar sellers say an immersive customer experience is a crucial component of their business, 41% of them admit they don’t have the expertise to implement or even strategize one. 28% say their existing strategy just isn’t working.

 

But just as technology has allowed e-commerce to create an immersive, individualized customer experience journey, it can help brick-and-mortar retailers do the same. Interactive digital signage systems and touchscreen wayfinding kiosks offer an ever-growing number of opportunities for connecting with customers and improving their retail experience.

 

Tech Options Abound

With the right technology in place, retailers can create omnichannel sales funnels, track their in-store advertising performance, redesign their floorplans to maximize sales, and so much more. The options are almost endless, but just to scratch the surface, retailers can:

 

●        Implement QR code scanning to help shoppers learn more about products

●        Integrate their own apps for remote booking or ordering

●        Collect and analyze customer behavior data to improve in-store advertising, promotions, floor design, and staffing

●        Implement motion sensors, cameras, facial recognition, and other tech to create an interactive experience that simultaneously collects customer data

●        Integrate mobile apps that deliver targeted, timely promotions and encourage customers to stay connected even when they’re at home

●        Create interactive content that reinforces branding and boosts brand awareness

●        Use voice technology to minimize the need for touchscreen interactions

 

As the world of brick-and-mortar shopping changes, retailers who are ready to think outside the box and take advantage of technology can remain competitive. Those who languish in the dark ages will miss opportunities for differentiation and continued growth.  

 

Ready to Discover How Interactive Digital Signage Can Transform Your Business?

Looking for ways to adapt to the changing retail environment? Let our team at Express Image Digital show you how digital signage and wayfinding software can transform your business. Check out our work in the Mall of America! To get started, feel free to request a demo or give us a call at 651-237-5677.