Store Automation - A Necessity?

Are you prepared to adapt the influence of digital transformation to customer's purchasing decision and able to help store's staff to provide the customer's needs?

In order to remain relevant, provide a shopping experience, and attract customers, the chain/store must incorporate new technology. Technology that simplifies tasks for both store employees and provides customers with an unparalleled shopping experience.

Today's customers have more choices than ever before

Currently, 94% of people use the internet, and over 85% do so on their phones. Studies also indicate that 4 out of 5 individuals search for products they intend to purchase online before making a buying decision. Furthermore, customers who use their mobile phones while in the store tend to spend 30% more than other customers. A survey conducted in the building supplies industry in the United States five years ago revealed that within just three years, customers transitioned from placing slightly more trust in store personnel to relying more on information they sought out on the internet. Presently, 9 out of 10 mobile phone users employ their devices while shopping, with nearly half (48%) downloading product information and 42% reading online reviews prior to making a purchase.

Lowest price, price robots, and same price in-store as online

Today, it is evident in certain industries that customers already compare prices before making a purchasing decision. Having the lowest price and a retail price that is the same online is a must. The question is: Will this also apply to all other industries? If not, why should we pay more for a product if it is cheaper online or at the store next door? The fact that modern customers use their mobile phones in-store while shopping, and over 50% compare prices on items before making a purchase, is a reality we must consider.

Store staff must receive help with selling

Store staff must be on the shop floor and attend to their customers. This is where the battle is fought! A customer who does not make a purchasing decision in the store may never return. A survey conducted in the United States revealed that when customers couldn't find an item in the store, 17% would immediately use their mobile phones to purchase it from a competitor's website. 37% would buy the product from an online store once they got home, and 35% would go to another store to make the purchase.

Store Automation - A Necessity?

So, going back to the question in the headline. Is Store Automation a necessity to survive and succeed in the tough competition? If our customers are not 75+, the answer is definitely YES! We cannot ignore the digital transformation happening around us, and if we retailers don't keep up, we will soon be history. Our customers and employees will expect us to utilize modern technology to facilitate everyday tasks and decisions, but also to create a pleasurable experience working at or visiting this chain/store.

Facts and Research References

- The report "Svenskarna och Internet 2017" (The Swedes and the Internet 2017)

- Studies from ComScore Inc, USA 2017

- Jens Nordfelt, "Marknadsföring i butik: om forskning och branschkunskap i detaljhandeln 2018" (Marketing in-store: about research and industry knowledge in retail 2018)

- Retail Week in association with BT. (2014), Research: The consumer 201

- BT research. "The digital consumer in 2016"


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