Despite years of traditions and trends in retail and shopping, the rise of technology and social networking has resulted in a huge shift in consumer’s attitudes and approaches to retail. Where once the idea of spending money before seeing the product seemed impossible, it is now common practice to hunt down an offer online before considering spending in store.
It’s thanks to the current generation of 14 to 19 year-olds that shopping has become so technologically and socially integrated. This generation were raised on social media and smart tech, and it is an integral part of their lives rather than something they have learnt to adapt to.
Mind The Generational Gap
Documenting, sharing and exploring have all become the everyday events of the so-called Generation Z, and so these trends and actions have become translated into their retail experiences. Myf Ryan, director of marketing at Westfield, has said:
They are the savviest group of consumers. Constantly connected, they’re always operating online and it’s a key strand of their lives. This group wants brands and experiences aligned to personal values.
Brands that respond with hyper-personalized offers and understand this group’s intuitive digital expectations with transparency and honesty will win respect.
By transforming stores from simply well-decorated rooms with clothing, brands have started to understand that the brand must build a relationship with the consumer away from the product. The brand must also look to correspond with the aspirational desires of the online life, making the consumer feel as though they are doing so much more than shopping.
Music events, free Wi-Fi, chill out spaces, places to eat and fashion shows are just the beginning of what in store experiences are being developed to help encourage the young consumer to align their commitment with that particular brand.
Bring The In-Store Experience Online
While retailers are hoping to bring consumers in store through exclusive in store experiences, the online space cannot be neglected. The e-commerce of any retailer is more important at this moment than ever before, not just for sales conversions, but for brand trust.
Studies have found that the stores that offer exclusive and well developed online experience will see increased foot traffic as a direct result of what is put online. Not only should social media be fully utilized, but the online content must be perfectly thought out.
Offering exclusive content online, from special offers to guides and tutorials, will give the illusion that the consumer is in store from the comfort of their own home. Figleaves offers an online bra fitting service, transforming that most intimate of services into something performed at home in complete customer comfort.
Foot traffic can also be encouraged by gently reminding the customer about their local stores. Catering content according to the consumer’s location, providing details about what products are available in which store and teaming these details with maps all help to increase in-store foot traffic.
Finally, it’s all about trust. The modern, savvy shopper wants to know the stores personality and ideals before committing their cash to the brand, and so offering online reviewing services will help portray the store as honest as well as having integrity.