In the age of newCommerce, physical stores are now only one piece of the ever-evolving omni-channel equation for retailers. eCommerce is fueling demand for more warehouse space and innovating logistics networks around the globe; fulfillment centers are an industry standard, leveraging breakthrough technology for efficiency and scale. To be successful in this climate, a retailer’s footprint must factor in these three important elements: experiences, design, and convenience.
Creating a Fresh Experience
Millennials became the largest generation by population, accounting for $1.3 trillion in annual consumer spending. They are the driving force behind the shift towards services and experiences – 78% would choose to spend money on a desirable experience over buying something desirable. But, while Millennials may drive trends, Baby Boomers account for the majority of wealth and consumer spending – nearly 39% of all consumers’ expenditure.
Still, Generation Z is the most digitally-inclined and has the potential to be the largest cohort. They are quick to adopt technology and latch onto trends, but still value the in-store experience when shopping. In a study conducted by Accenture, researchers found that bricks-and-mortar stores are the preferred method of shopping for 77% of Generation Z shoppers. Digital engagement is also growing in Generation Z. In the same survey, 70% of respondents have written reviews on products and 40% provide feedback online often, showing us that cross-channel shopping is a stand out characteristic.
Consistent messaging and branding across omni-channel delivery is vital to success and provides opportunity to further develop a brand. eCommerce platforms must blend with physical stores to keep customers engaged and deliver a streamlined user experience. Leveraging new technology online or offline, such as augmented reality to visualize a potential purchase or 3D printing to create custom products in an instant, can enhance the user experience and bolster a retailer’s appeal to drive sales.