Automatic or Immersive? The Changing Face of Retail

Author: POSPaper  

The retail world is in a time of huge change, we are all aware of the impact of online shopping however there is another change that is sweeping through the industry, and largely undiscussed. In, Tim Goodwin, Head of Innovation for Zenith Media calls it the “bifurcation of retail” and it refers to the split between instant, quick gratification which he likens to watching quick 6 second videos as opposed to brand, experienced based shopping – using the example above this would be like binge watching a slickly designed series.

Another example is the popularity of reliable, quick fast food such as McDonalds creates the opposite need of diverse pop up food festivals and the rise of the gourmet hipster burger. .

In the world of retail this dichotomy can be illustrated by the starkness of sites such as Amazon or travel booking sites where they have been designed that in a minimum amount of time and effort, almost automatically customers can click or swipe, pay and be done.

There is also subscription retail – even simpler than buying, as once you have bought the first time you don’t need to buy again. Set and forget. (We are thinking this could be great for your POS receipt rolls and printer ribbons – no need to reorder or ever run out!).

Saving payment details and using plug ins such as Paypal are also used to make this kind of spending as easy as possible and remove all barriers along the way so customers don’t stop to think.

On the reverse end of the spectrum are stores that bombard the senses with concept and volume. This is more usually done in a physical shopping environment as senses are important including sight and smell. Think about stores such as Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Haigh’s or Lindt Chocolate shops, H&M as well as Farmer’s Markets, coffee brands such as Campos and Craft Beer makers that retail onsite but also often have onsite bars and wholesale in to other retailers who want to latch on to the client loyalty this creates. There are different takes on this – some extremely curated and some bombarding all senses.

E-Commerce has changed buying habits and modern retailers that are succeeding in this new space are asking themselves where they fit. Are they “quick, automatic and efficient” or a fun, immersive, brand based experience?

Spending has never been higher yet most retailers are not adapting. It’s time to assess and work out where your business can maximise sales to capture the wallets of the modern consumer. 

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