FUTURE IN THE PHYSICAL
Investing in cutting-edge in-store technology can be intimidating for grocers, especially when many are focusing more on e-commerce expansion as part of an omnichannel survival strategy. It should never be overlooked, however.
Although digital retail is capturing headlines, physical stores remain critical, according to “On Solid Ground: Brick-and-mortar Is the Foundation of Omnichannel Retailing,” a July 2014 report from Chicagobased consultancy A.T. Kearney. Some 90 percent of all retail sales are transacted in stores, and 95 percent of them are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence.
“Stores provide consumers with a sensory experience that allows them to touch and feel products, immerse in brand experiences, and engage with sales associates who provide tips and reaffirm shopper enthusiasm for their new purchases,” A.T. Kearney says.
Additionally, two-thirds of consumers who purchase online use the store before or after their transactions. In these cases, the store makes a significant contribution to converting the sale, even though the transaction eventually is registered online.
“The debate should not be a question of digital or physical,” A.T. Kearney notes. “Successful retailers understand how each customer touchpoint adds value … and develop omnichannel strategies — with stores as the foundation — that maximize customer satisfaction with profitability.”