Stores of the future: The changing face of retail

As smart device ownership continues to increase across the globe, more and more consumers are turning to the online marketplace to satisfy their shopping needs. With this transition, retailers are seeing a decrease in sales-per-square-foot of retail shopping space. Unfortunately for retailers, this trend shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. This has caused many retailers to consider downsizing their brick-and-mortar retail locations, cutting retail sales staff and in some cases closing hundreds of stores. This change in retail shopping behavior has many large retail chains rethinking the way their stores look, operate, and engage customers. Is there a way they can remain relevant, become more efficient and adapt to the changing shopping environment?

Today’s retail store is about to get a facelift. It’s outdated, inefficient and cannot keep up with consumer demand. The store of the future will be about the individual and utilize technology to provide the best experience possible. Retailers no longer need warehouse style spaces, large sales teams, or immense product inventory on site. These large spaces cost more money and don’t yield higher sales. Showcasing big box inventory costs too much, and we’re likely going to see that reflected as these trends continue. Stores of the future will make better use of their space with reduced staff sizes, utilize smaller merchandise showrooms and provide a unique shopping experience grounded in refined customer service. Smaller showrooms allow for higher sales-per-square-foot, improved customer service, and superior customer convenience. Customers will be able to easily interact with products, receive personalized assistance and checkout with their mobile devices. Salespeople will be able to answer any question about products through clienteling apps, and the customer will be able to receive a hands on test drive of the products they want to buy.

As online retailers like Amazon are quickly gobbling more market share, retailers have to embrace change and react accordingly. Consumer behavior shows that shoppers want a personalized experience, mobile shopping solutions, detailed product information and a chance to interact with products before they purchase them. Stores are going to adopt these practices in order to remain relevant to consumers and bring in more sales. Otherwise, the current trends will continue and retail operations will mostly be used for “showrooming” while online sales will increase and additional stores will downsize or enter bankruptcy. Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t extinct, but they are evolving. As we enter a new age of shopping, the digital and physical environments will merge to create the new face of the store.

We’re excited about the stores of the future, and intend to help stores adapt to the digital transformation currently taking place in retail, which is why the Scandit team will be participating in the upcoming Future Stores Conference in Seattle later this month. There we’ll be showcasing our barcode scanning solutions on mobile and wearable devices and engaging with retailers that want to improve customer service options and work to streamline retail operations. If you are going to be at Future Stores, and want to meet up, please reach out to us at info@scandit.com to set up a meeting with a team member or discuss our barcode scanning solutions.