The retail world is changing: Brick-and-mortar stores are losing customers to “e-commerce”, and shoppers are expecting more from the traditional shopping experience. Retail has to rethink itself, but it seems local customers are going left, retail is going right.
For tech suvvey people like me, our ideal digital “store of the future” will have streamline payments and make it easier to pick up purchases. We hunger a new experience from the traditional bricks and mortar by incorporating technology in-store environment.
Millennials need streamless payment systems to delivery by drones and product personalization, here’s what the future of your local shopping street might look like.
For me to say to say that digital commerce is killing off physical stores is lazy thinking and a half-truth. And in Zimbabwe, we are yet to see a real transformation of the sector but things are on course. On the contrary, pure-play online shopping is the imperiled model, evidenced by the lack of e-commerce-only retailers.
Most retail outlets like OK Zimbabwe and TM Pick N Pay, digitally enhanced stores like Food World or Munch assume a traditional three-stage consumption model. The customer experiences a need, shops to satisfy the need, and then consumes or uses the product purchased (I need Food, I buy food, I eat food).
The jargon of retailing reflects on this model, assuming it certain that shopping is the central component of this model. The model rests on the idea that many choices on which customers buy are made in-store — whether physical or online.
This was according to the “Consumer View,” a study from the National Retail Federation that tracks consumer awareness and adoption rates across a variety of retail technologies.
For example, shoppers are most interested in buy online, pickup in-store (68%) services, in-app store navigation (66%), and mobile payment (65%). Yet, many technologies still fall short of consumers’ expectations, suggesting successful implementation still has ways to go—even for more mature technologies, the study revealed.
Instant purchasing and Delivery
To begin with, consumers increasingly transact right when the demand (need) occurs and delivery which is quick. In 2025, speed and convenience will be the two core qualities defining a top shopping experience. Customers increasingly value the ability to buy quickly and easily and are getting less and less patient when it comes to waiting for orders to be delivered, for new goods to show up in stores, for great deals. In 2025, hour’s delivery will become the industry norm.
Of course, that’s just the beginning. Two-hour drone delivery will become the coming in 2020, and Amazon is already talking about 30-minute drone delivery.
With the advancement of the technology and internet of things. They are companies which doing great thing with the future kitchen like Amazon “Dash Button,” and WePlenish, are already launched smart containers that promise to revolutionize the modern kitchen by literally ordering your products for you.
With these innovations you will not have to worry about running out of essentials like cooking oil, sugar or meet because your bowls will sense inventory levels and restock them without you having to lift a finger. Whirlpool washing machines, for example, can autonomously order a pre-specified amount of washing detergent after a set number of washes.
No More Carrying Shopping Bags
In that future, your purchases may arrive home before you do. I remember in the 90s when you buy mill meal from the supermarket, the supermarket will have your products delivered to your doorstep. Those were the days. Now you have the pains of going out to buy things, then you have to transport them yourself. Cart them around the store. Carry them to your car and if you visit multiple stores and make many purchases, this can be cumbersome.
Imagine buying good and they deliver to your house, and you continue with your daily life. Customers are increasingly more mobile and use their phones as shopping devices while on the go.
A seamless transition between digital and brick-and-mortar experiences is something stores will have to perfect in order to be successful.
Success in 2020 will boil down to retailers’ ability to offers customers a personalized, seamless shopping experience. This means that retailers will constantly need to evolve, innovate and unify their Omnichannel efforts so shoppers’ paths to purchase are as frictionless as possible.
Are we all going to shop at home in our underwear? Will physical storefronts go away?
Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.