Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, explains the physical need of customers to experience certain products before buying

As part of our series centered around the PSFK Future of Retail 2017 report, Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, offered insights into how digital innovation will never supersede the brick-and-mortar experience.

In 2016, we are overwhelmed with options for how and what to consume. Online shopping platforms have provided a great way to shop for easily digitized goods. It’s no accident that Amazon dominates in sales of commodities. But for non-digitized retail goods like apparel, shoes, accessories and home items, our choice is more subjective and intimate. When buying products that reflect our individual taste and identity, we want and need to see, feel, try on and experience them. For this, we are more likely to go to a store. Even within the context of the growing e-commerce market, 95 percent of all retail sales are still garnered by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence. Confronted with a tidal wave of new styles, brands and influences, the ability to discover and try on an item in the flesh has become a critical moment for the discerning shopper. The new generation of consumers desire a personal and authentic experience when selecting the items to represent their taste and style.

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