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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Future of Physical Retailing: Magical Experience

GigaOM writes about showrooming, the increasing tendency of shoppers to experience a product at a store, and then buy it online or elsewhere by searching or scanning it to compare prices and features.  We saw this tendency early on during experiments with a major retailer.  The example of Best Buy  is used in the article since electronics and computers are a typical example where the practice is common.  Good statistics are provided.

Is there a solution for the physical retailer?  One suggestion is that store create better experiences, akin to the Apple Store, that engage the shopper with the experience, and more naturally lead to purchase.  How is the magic best introduced in physical locations?  Augmented reality experiences?  Or online?  Show happy people interacting.  Trust and followup support and service are other key components of expensive and complex purchases.  So making these aspects as seamless as possible is another component that can differentiate the interaction.  This works best for some products, less for others.

Once in the store the shopper should also be advised of all the associated capabilities, add-ons and  accessories needed to make the purchase successful.  And afterwards need to be reminded of where they made the purchase and the magic of the experience.

Following the issue and potential solutions closely.

1 comment:

R.Mig said...

It has been some time since I visited a BestBuy, but over the weekend I went shopping one for a laptop. There are two things that jumped out as very different about the store experience. It was more open and hands on and less cluttered (still more room for improvement however). Secondly, floor sales people were available and helpful. Perhaps borrowing a little of the Apple success...and why not? It kept me in the store, I was better informed, and they will get my sale.