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While the retail industry is being transformed by augmented reality (AR), voice technology, and artificial intelligence (AI), savvy buyers are looking for a blend of the online and offline worlds that create a more seamless and intuitive shopping experience.

On-line retailers will continue to make a strong push for consumer spend with strategies such as acquiring brick-and-mortar stores to enhance their presence and distribution channel. Some major e-commerce brands are using the physical store footprint to merge the URL with IRL (In Real Life), in new ways. These new retail spaces, some that embody the vibe of a lifestyle blogger, are bent on delivering memorable experiences while providing shoppers the option to interact with merchandise.

While there has been no shortage of disparaging news for the legacy retailers, all is not lost. Legacy retailers continue to bring life to physical stores, by reducing their store footprints and creating unique in-store experiences that go beyond just shopping for merchandise. Retailers looking to attract Millennial buyers – who are increasingly spending their disposable income on experiences, rather than objects – are focused on tempting people back into stores by creating fully immersive shoppable brand experiences. These experiences could include lifestyle elements, such as boutique coffee shops, live entertainment, or even overnight sleeping suites along with chef-inspired meals for a private party.

On the technology front, savvy retailers are taking advantage of machine learning and data analytics because they are a benefit to customers who want a more targeted and personalized shopping experience. As the digital marketplace expands, crowdsourcing has become a trend, allowing retailers direct access to large populations in order to collect feedback about subjects, products or ingredients. And how we pay for merchandise is changing, too. Technology will likely make mobile payment solutions the norm in coming years, requiring that you have your mobile device (instead of your wallet) with you at all times.

As new business models change the environment, sales incentives, recognition and training programs will help you gain the advantage. Creating brand loyalty with customers that have increasingly more options available to them, can be achieved with strategic brand activation events can give you the competitive edge necessary to thrive.

Establish your brand as a leader through sales incentives and engagement programs from Creative Group. 

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