Omni-Channeling & Coffee – Takeaways from POPAI Professional Development breakfast seminar
On Tuesday (4th March), the Objective Digital team woke up early to attended POPAI’s latest seminar in its Professional Development series. Nick Salem – the ANZ Retail and Commerce Leader for IBM – revealed the high-level findings and insights from the IBM Institute for Business Value Global Consumer Study. While Zita Watkins (Marketing Manager at Active Display Group) told of her German adventures to the 2014 Euro-shop trade fair in Dusseldorf, and visits to other innovative retail stores around Berlin.
IBM Global consumer study
The latest IBM Global consumer study – Greater Expectations – Consumers are asking for tomorrow, today – looked at consumer trends around the world and the new retail era. Advances in technology are changing the way customers shop for and purchase products, in turn, setting omni-channel expectations by digital-savvy shoppers. The survey identified the 5 key capabilities that shoppers expect from today’s retailers:
- Price consistency across shopping channels
- Ability to ship items that are out of stock in the store directly to the home
- Option to track the status of an order
- Consistent product assortment across channels
- Ability to return online purchases in the store
These findings have been in par with previous research conducted by Objective Digital. The Objective Digital Mobile Grocery App review found consumers wanting product information, price and availability to be made available on mobile grocery apps to allow them to make equivalent informed decisions, as if they were shopping in-store. Ultimately, the ability of retailers to meet the needs (including the digital needs) of their customers becomes the deciding factor for where consumer’s want to shop.
Euro-shop trade fair & other innovative retail experiences
The remainder of the seminar was dedicated to the latest industry insights direct from Euro-shop trade fair 2014 and other innovative retail experiences around Berlin. One trend that resonated through many innovative retail stores was the blending of retail and cafes. It seems many European grocery and non-grocery retails are starting to appreciate the benefits of setting up full-size coffee shops in their stores, adding a new dimension to the retail experience. The result is a mix of shopping and social interaction; encourage more traffic and longer visits.
Microsoft’s “Digital Eatery” in Berlin, for example, is a café-showroom, which offers customers the chance to test out Microsoft gadgets while getting a taste of locally sourced food. Customers can’t purchase any products, but rather test Microsoft hardware and software onsite, in one of their themed areas – “at home”, “en route”, “in the office”, and “music lounge”. It’s a way for Microsoft to begin exchanging dialogue with their customers and understand how customers use their products within the context of their environment.
The idea of blending two different experiences, with a focus that extends beyond retail products is starting to take hold in Australian retail stores. The Woolworths concept store in Woolloomooloo incorporates a café area with bookshleves in the middle of the grocery store. Other new initiatives also includes a beauty bar and full time professional beauty consultants in its Town Hall Store.
Cultural Kings provides another example of adding an innovative dimension to the retail experience. World famous for its street wear and apparel, it also claims to offer its customers the “freshest shopping experience”. Retail stores regularly have DJs playing live music in-store and offer an in-store barbershop. The store doesn’t take appointments, but encourages customers to grab a ticket and wait for their turn. With a whole room of the latest fashion covering each wall of the store, it’s a clever way to get customers to browse whilst they wait.
In today’s competitive markets, it is imperative that retailers shift their strategic focus and harness new opportunities to serve their customers in ways that go beyond the traditional exchange of goods.
How can Objective Digital help design your customer’s experience?