How retailers are adapting to customer and technology trends this holiday season
The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and this year—uncertainty. As we look for new ways to experience holiday shopping amid the pandemic, brick and mortar retailers are innovating in order to compete with the ease, convenience, and safety of online shopping, all while still delivering the personal feel that traditional brick and mortar stores are known for.
New technology in the retail industry seamlessly bridges the online/offline divide and paves a new future for in-store shopping. Keep reading to learn how retail technology makes pandemic holiday shopping more comfortable for consumers, and easier and more effective for store-owners.
Retail technology 2020 provides the ease and safety of e-commerce in-store
Plenty has changed in 2020, but shoppers aren’t planning to significantly decrease their spending this holiday season—great news for retailers and brands. However, conscious of health and safety concerns, shoppers are planning to increase their online purchases.
Our disrupted world has doubled down on a digital marketplace. Shopper anxiety is at an all time high and some brick and mortar stores are falling behind. In fact, a Deloitte survey says 51% of shoppers are anxious about in-store holiday shopping due to COVID-19. An opportunity exists for these traditional retailers—stores that integrate the latest technology in the retail industry are bringing the ease and safety of online shopping within their storefronts, and crafting a unique shopping experience.
This is an attractive middle ground for customers craving the traditional in-store holiday shopping experience while also taking pandemic precautions. Retailers are adapting to customer and technology trends and redesigning the consumer experience to create an ideal in-store shopping experience, despite unfamiliar conditions. Here’s how:
- Ordering stations in waiting rooms allow customers to submit their cart before entering the store, allowing for a quicker shopping experience with less face to face interaction.
- Interactive smart displays allow shoppers to directly engage with products at easily sanitized stations while reducing interaction between customers.
- Additionally, these interactive displays ensure contactless payment options, combining innovation with the safety consumers expect and demand. In fact, throughout the pandemic, payment processor Marqeta has seen a 10-fold increase in contactless payments.
Beyond making the purchase process easier and safer for consumers, contactless payments prove that retailers care about their employees—and that matters. In fact, this interactive technology as a whole, not just the contactless payment options, protects employees who can use it as a sales tool from a distance. Retailers can rely more on the use of technology in retail stores and less on a floor crowded with staff members, keeping safe both shoppers and staffers alike. In short, consumers want to support retailers that support their staff and customers, and innovative technology makes this easier.
Cannabis retailers are leading the way in innovative in-store shopping
This year’s retail experiences will be unique as the ever-increasing online/offline gap becomes even broader. The cannabis industry is a great example of retailers that are leveraging technological advancements in retail and adapting their in-store experience for the future.
By offering interactive merchandising displays in store, leading cannabis dispensaries invite shoppers to actively discover and engage with products from a distance. Shoppers who enjoy hands-on interaction can engage with products while learning everything they need to know through interactive product information, without the assistance of a salesperson. Consumers appreciate the ease and safety of their individual shopping experience, and dispensaries collect powerful customer behavior data that can help them understand their customers on a deeper level and shape future decisions.
For instance, Empire Connect, a cannabis 'smart store' in San Bernardino, California, features 50 interactive retail displays that allow customers to shop and submit orders.
This breaks from the traditional dispensary model, where face to face ordering is not only customary, but one of shopper’s biggest complaints. By offering this new model that looks and feels like e-commerce, Empire Connect has maintained regular numbers during the pandemic, and expects this year's holiday shopping to be a huge success.
Enhance the holiday shopping experience with The Peak Beyond
Our clients have seen cart sizes increase by 40% and staffing expenses decrease by 20% by using our suite of products. Combine the simple processes of e-commerce shopping with the traditional experience of brick and mortar shopping for an ideal—and successful—holiday shopping season. Contact us to learn more and start implementing the best retail technology today.