The importance of taking physical stores to the next level

The importance of taking physical stores to the next level

In 2022, retailers need to adopt new strategies and approaches in order to evolve into organizations that prioritise the user needs and experience. Among other important conclusions, this is one of the main ideas stated in Publicis Sapient’s Inaugural “2022 Retail Guide to Next” Report.

The digital business transformation company released its inaugural report, including trends to focus on during the year ahead in order to keep succeeding in the industry. Undoubtedly, meeting customer expectations, evolving as platforms and reimagining store experiences while integrating online and offline methodologies will be key to keep the business on track!

Integrating online and offline methodologies will be key to keep the business on track

Everybody knows that we are living in a new age of retail and, in order to be part of the change, retailers should incorporate strategies according to changing customer behaviours. Nowadays, customers are looking for the interaction with their favourite brands and new integrating experiences, that is why developing valued and innovative ecosystems is such a crucial challenge ahead.

On the one hand, it is true that over last year’s lockdowns and restrictions, e-commerce has evolved and changed the role of physical stores. However, on the other hand, physical stores are far from being forgotten: Publicis Sapient’s research indicates that 52% of customers plan to make most of their department store purchases in stores this holiday season. We know that in 15 years, stores will still be important places to experience what a brand has to offer.

Physical stores are far from being forgotten

So, what should retailers do? A wise path would be integrating online and offline in order to offer a comprehensive approach and cover different user expectations. According to the research, 55% of consumers go to physical stores to revise an item before purchasing it online. Keeping this in mind, digital solutions should be added to store experiences in order to expand the physical footprint and provide customized experiences. This can be easily achieved by the use of data-driven strategies that allow retailers to integrate data across all channels and stay connected to their customers.

Another interesting result from Publicis Sapient’s research is that only 38% of shoppers are satisfied with trying products online and 46% stated that when shopping online, they are more likely to buy from a brand that offers an easy way to manage returns. This illustrates how important it is for retailers to know their customers. The key tool? Of course: data!

Retailers need data about their products, their customers and the interaction between both of them. Providing information online about their products will allow customers to make better purchase decisions and prevent returns. Likewise, knowing their customers will allow retailers to adapt their products and services to specific needs and expectations.

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