Better, Cheaper… FASTER… FASTER… is what all retailers need to hear in an ever increasing race to gain market share. Yet, at the same time can they give their customers the perfect Shopper experience and ultimately the best customer Service? Whilst not only retaining their customer base but growing it at the same time. Can the perfect bricks and mortar store be achieved by taking time out of the process?
Yes, why not. The process can be simplified, can be sped up, can be improved with the help of relevant technology. Retailers around the world are launching stores quicker than ever. From the initial architectural design of the building to the installation of equipment and merchandising of the product. All of these are now being aided and realised through a virtual 3-D world. Where campaigns are created, viewed and signed off – but, can we really omit real physical store trials? No, I hear you say…
By speeding up the process using VR to see stores before they are physically built helps decisions be made early, saving time. You can not omit the physical trial, VR just gets you to the real world quicker and with a more focused approach. You still need to touch and feel the store environment.
One thing retailers can’t control is us. They can gather data on their consumers through loyalty membership cards, credit cards, online and in-store databases, clustering them into types of shopper. What cannot be controlled though is shopper’s emotional behavior, the change in tastes, likes and dislikes, outside influences, as they change, grow older and most importantly – where they live. UK and Global brands and retailers will almost certainly need to perform store tests geographically to establish (at that point in time) what works and what doesn’t. This pattern is a landscape constantly changing and evolving. Or perhaps one day they will control who we are, what we like and where we live!