- Guest Contributor
- Editor's Blog
By Mike Grimes, CRO at Mobee
Retail’s BIG Show did not disappoint with the newest in artificial intelligence, connected devices and augmented and virtual reality. These cutting-edge technologies hold unbridled promise for the retail industry. We will no doubt see and hear more about drone delivery, interactive dressing rooms, the endless aisle 2.0 on in-store mobile devices and even virtual retail locations in your living room.
Yet amid the buzz and excitement of new technologies are gloomier headlines about the demise of brick-and-mortar staples. Macy’s, Sears and The Limited all announced store closures in the new year, citing a decline in shopper traffic and the rise of e-commerce. Footprints are shrinking and so are store sizes, yet shoppers are demanding the same or expanded inventory.
As noted by Carrie Ask of Levi Strauss & CO and published on NRF, “Retail store traffic may be declining, but purchase intent is rising since people don’t ‘have to’ go to a physical store anymore. That makes the accuracy of shelf-level inventory in-stocks more important than ever.” Add that the value of omnichannel customers increases with the number of channels they use, and an optimized offline presence becomes even more important.
The takeaway? Omni-channel retailers need to do a better job with the limited physical space they have. Technology can help—when deployed correctly. Before tacking on new and innovative features, retailers should use solutions like mobile crowdsourcing, RFID tags and mounted sensors to improve the basics of store-level experience.
Here are three places to start: