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Future Of Retail: What’s In Store

Future Of Retail: What’s In Store
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Retailers and software developers are creating consumer-facing tools that make a store’s entire physical inventory available to customers in real-time.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 9 august 2011

In our research for PSFK’s Future of Retail report, our consulting team realized that in an effort to ensure that every store visit meets a shopper’s expectations, retailers and software developers are creating consumer-facing tools that make a store’s entire physical inventory available to customers in real-time. By making this information accessible, retailers are enabling their customers to approach every shopping trip with confidence, knowing that the right product, size, or style is in stock. Many stores are also linking their physical and online inventories providing an additional level of service by making items available to shoppers anywhere.

MANIFESTATIONS OF THIS TREND:

App Connects Local Buyers To Products Nearby
Smartphone App Locates Items On The Shelf

Local Inventory Synced With Mobile Inquiries
Software Accesses Online Inventory In-store

RFID Equipped Ice-cream Scoopers Update Flavor Availability
App Connects Friends Sharing Their Favorite Wines

IMPLICATIONS:

More transparency by retailers will provide better choice for consumers. Shoppers feel more comfortable making a purchase when they feel they have all the information.

– Jack Abraham, Director of Local, Founder and CEO of Milo, eBay

Brand conscious shoppers are honing in on the neighborhood retailers who carry their favorite products using mobile apps. Even if they don’t know of a local store for local discovery, if it carries a coveted branded item and the store is sharing its local inventory, the product will surface in a mobile search, which in turn helps with local discovery.

– Nitin Gupta, VP, Business Development, Retailigence

We feel this trend will grow to the point that online, mobile and in-store shopping will sync together. However, careful attention should be made to offering a unique experience for each process in the path to purchase online, tablet, mobile and in-store.

– Nathan Pettyjohn, CEO, Aisle411

Many stores are also linking their physical and online inventories providing an additional level of service by making items available to shoppers anywhere.

– Scott Lachut, Director Of Consulting, PSFK

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