Holiday shopping excitement is ramping up. The National Retail Federation predicts an estimated 4% increase over 2014. Forrester expects online shopping to exceed $95 billion; an increase of 11% over last year. Long-term: Will brick & mortar shopping be eclipsed by online shopping?
Some leading retailers are modifying their business models to compete. Detailed below are three retailers that are enhancing their brick & mortar operations for their customers:
1.) One brand that I respect and have written about is North Face. In select stores they are introducing a cinematic virtual reality experience titled “The North Face Nepal.” Sounds more exciting than online shopping. However, since North Face understands the value of connecting with its consumers (specifically Millennials), they are also offering the content to Outside magazine subscribers. In-store shopping augmented by virtual reality.
2.) In my hometown of Philadelphia, Urban Outfitters announced they are entering the restaurant business by purchasing the Vetri Family Group of restaurants that includes Pizzeria Vetri which they plan to open in some of their flagship stores. In-store shopping combined with an eating experience.
3.) ShopWithMe, a retail start-up is opening interactive “smart” stores. Their pop up concepts will include merchandise presented (e.g., Toms Shoes, Raven+Lily) on glass top digital displays or in futuristic fitting rooms complete with interactive mirrors. In-store shopping enhanced by futuristic design and interactive technology.
E-commerce will continue to exhibit robust sales. However, some leading retailers will continue to find ways to attract consumers to their brick & mortar locations. What will be the key? Find “smart” solutions to enhance their customers’ shopping experience.
Brick & mortar shopping 2.0: The new look!