Buying stuff online is many things – convenient, less crowded, sometimes less expensive – but one thing it is not, at least for me, is fun. Rather, it tends to be a hunting expedition. Sites have something I want. I search. I might buy.
The experience of wandering the aisles, on the other hand, can be fun. As anyone who has found himself compelled to buy a grocery store donut because of the smell of warm sugariness wafting through the parking lot can attest, stores can stimulate every sense. There are environments to explore and other people to engage.
Now imagine if brick and mortar stores made it a lot easier for me to become a hunter but preserved the things that make it fun. What if they made it less expensive? What if you could “check out” just as quickly at an Abercrombie as you can at Amazon?
Brick and mortar stores are working on all these things. Helping them are companies such as Roximity. Alex Finkel, who I envy for possessing one of the only one-word job titles I’ve ever seen (“Partnerships”), shares a bit about how Roximity is helping brick and mortar strike back against the incursions e-commerce has made over the last 15 years.
Matt Collins: Fill in the blank: “Brick and mortar retail is _______.”
Alex Finkel: Brick and mortar retail is alive and well. Retailers have more and more tools at their disposal to engage consumers in the moment and add value to the process of browsing and shopping in store.
AF: There have been a number of innovations by retailers that add value and one that’s near and dear to me are iBeacons. Most people hear retail and beacons and immediately think it’s a perfect storm for spamming, and they’re not entirely wrong. That said, those thinking intelligently are finding extremely worthy use cases that are improving the customer journey without having any personal interaction whatsoever; from notifying store associates to check in with a customer to improving wait times in lines, beacons can add value without being intrusive.