The stores of the future
THE TRENDS AND THE EVOLVING ROLE OF THE SHOP
Shop: space intended for goods display and sale to the public. This definition seems to be correct, but the third millennium store cannot include only exhibition and sale functions.
For the global consumer and the Italian one, the store remains an important place of the buying process, where he can find immediate gratifications, touch the products and try them immediately removing any doubts, enjoy the staff support to be pushed towards the right choice. We always try to avoid wasting and invest our time in appropriate choices, accepting, indeed looking for suggestions.
2015 data in the field of Retail & Consumer show that now 60% of consumers can be defined as "digital", but despite this change we are witnessing a phenomenon of longevity of the off-line market, where it seems that 70% of consumers do online researches, and then complete the purchase in store.
The points of sale, then, resist the shock of change, but there is the need of their complete revolution: they will have to become, thanks to the technological innovation also, places where traders not only get results for sale, but they are able to build a relationship with a loyal customer.
The future of the store is the continuous technological innovation. The objectives are mainly two: the first is related to the upcoming efficiency of the purchasing process, the second is about the value given to the purchase experience, making it as pleasant and interesting as possible.
But nowadays, which are the available technologies that can improve the "consumer experience"?
Despite the users digitization, globally there is still a huge mistrust among consumers with reference to purchasing through a smartphone device. The common thought is still that this will become the favourite method of payment in the future, so the challenge for the sector will be related to exploit the opportunities of this tool, riding the gradual approach of the customer.
In this moment, the interest seems to be focused on features able to bring advantages, such as applications that can suggest promotions or personalized offers. Furthermore, there is the desire to have the chance to quickly and directly check instore the product availability in other stores or online; to take advantage of the free and easily accessible Wi-Fi; to use self-service cash registers; to receive additional information about the products thanks to QR-Codes and be followed by sales staff able to assist the customer with payment (not at the cash register also) and to promptly show valid alternatives.
The trends to be pursued are multiple and reflect the need for a new model of business strategy. We can surely assume that the existing technologies fully allow us to set a new scenario based on the "consumer experience" optimization, in order to give the consumer the highest level of satisfaction in the purchasing process.