Why Automation Won’t Kill Retail Stores

As we grow accustomed to purchasing what we wish from the convenience of our couches at the click of a button, brands are left wondering how the future of retail will take shape. What we know for certain is that people will always want to spend, which means the fate of retail in general is bright. It is reasonable for brands to keep thriving in this world and for direct marketing to adapt advertising techniques to support the changes. The question retailers face, however, is how?

Shoppers Want The Best of Both Worlds

Despite the convenience online shopping brings to so many of us, including attractive media buying opportunities, people still want to experience products in-person before committing. While a surge in online shopping has caused some retailers to close their stores, focusing exclusively on e-commerce, closing down shop isn't always necessary. This is because shoppers want both options, and the best of both worlds. This means retailers and brands need to re-think their physical store persona, service offering, and advertising approach to suit consumer demands to surprise, delight, educate, and entertain in-person while establishing an elegant, interactive, and lead-generational user experience online.

In-Store Experiences Will Thrive With Automation

Drone delivery systems and automated in-store retail is shaping the next generation of buying and selling goods. Specifically, storefronts are predicted to evolve into a similar format to banks, one where machines have long been an alterative option to tellers, and in some cases, the only option. This falls in line with connected and over stimulated shoppers who dread forced interactions with sometimes inexperienced, pushy, or apathetic associates. Although much can be purchased through a screen, retailers will always need physical spaces for shoppers to engage intimately with products. Automated in-store experiences can pave the way for custom radio or TV commercials that drive-to-store with programmable and easily changeable messages to suit programmable and easily changeable automated retail spaces.

Digital Strategists Are The New Sales Associates

In order for brands to remain profitable and appealing, it's important they seek the proper support from digital and media buying strategists who can measure and monitor activity to make sophisticated and purposeful decisions. Data has shown that engaging strategically with loyal fans serves as a sustainable foundation for growth versus exhausting resources to earn new ones. Focusing too heavily on converting strangers into shoppers can actually cause brands to miss the mark on keeping the ones they have, who can inevitably serve as brand advocates doing the selling to strangers on behalf of the brand.

Got questions about retail marketing? Ask us!