exp37 Study

All retailers are by now aware of the fact that brick-and-mortar stores must become more digital in order to keep up with their online competitors, the key to success being the provision of an optimal “no-line” customer experience. However, because of the multitude of technologies and digital services already on the market, one can quickly lose one’s bearings.

Thus the following questions arise:
• What are the most relevant technologies / touchpoints from retailers’ point of view?
• Which touchpoints are actually desired and accepted by the customers?
• Are the expectations of the customers in line with the efforts of the retailers?

These questions and more are examined in our study “The Relevance of Digital Technologies for Brick-and-Mortar Retail”

The Procedure:

By means of in-depth focus group discussions, insights into the consumption behavior of different generations were gained and their views on the digital touchpoints shown in exp37 were asked. At the same time, more than 100 retailers were surveyed to understand their perspective on the digitalization of brick-and-mortar retail. The two perspectives were then critically examined.

Initial Results:

The following touchpoints are most relevant to retailers:
• App
• Mobile POS
• Digital Table
• Omni-Channel Marketing Loop (a touchpoint to identify the customer in the store)

A proprietary app is essential for retailers because it forms the bridge between the physical store and the online shop. It is used to increase customer loyalty and generate valuable data – the foundation for one-to-one marketing. A mobile POS helps the sales associate on the salesfloor provide better service, and enables payment on the spot. The digital table is an extended shop counter and offers the customer the opportunity to view products that are not physically present in an appealing way, and to purchase them from the online shop or another branch of the retailer.

Compared to online pure players, who can analyze their customers and their buying behavior down to the smallest detail, brick-and-mortar retailers are at a significant disadvantage because they have almost no customer information. It is therefore obvious why the innovative “Omni-Channel Marketing Loop” is causing a stir and was classified as the most relevant touchpoint in the survey. This innovative solution enables customers to be identified and analyzed in the physical business, and allows the retailer to use automated, target group specific marketing. The exact details on how it works can be found here:Omni-Channel Marketing Loop

The study results show which technologies retailers are currently working on. But at the end of the day, the customer decides which touchpoints will be successful in the long-term. What customers really want will be revealed in our study which will be published in September. But one thing is clear: opinions differ significantly...