Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 68

SOLUTION PROVIDER RETAIL TECH

Get Smart with IT
Smart retailers need a smart IT approach to survive and thrive in 2018. BY MIKE LOWEY

T

o say that the swell of online
shopping has brought brickand-mortar retailers faceto-face with a sea of change
may qualify as a major understatement.
Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods is
shaking up the eGrocery market, which
is predicted to grow into a $24 billion
industry by 2017. The popularity of the
buy online and pick up in store - aka
BOPIS or "click and collect" - option
continues to soar, with 87 percent of
millennials in a recent IRT survey indicating they prefer this model.

Shoppers Still Like Stores
Foot traffic has been dropping in U.S.
retail stores by more than 9 percent
annually, according to VDC research.
68

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

So it's not surprising that 46 percent
of retailers currently provide BOPIS
services, and an additional 31 percent
intend to introduce it. The good news
is that despite their willingness to
order just about anything from food to
clothes to electronics online, most consumers are still fans of physical stores
because they like to touch, try on and
see products firsthand.
But changing customer expectations
are reshaping the retail world - and
driving retailers to reimagine the
buying experience. Apple is rebranding
its largest stores "town squares," envisioning gathering places that also offer
classes on topics such as coding, music
or photography. Nordstrom is opening
a concept store that offers spa services,

Volume 58, Issue 2

tailoring, stylists and a bar - but no
fashion lines. And Starbucks plans to
open more roasteries to immerse customers in an interactive environment.
To survive - let alone thrive - in this
brave, new, competitive environment,
retailers from big box chains to department stores to grocery and specialty
stores need to optimize technology in
order to deliver a positive experience that
keeps shoppers coming back for more.

Technology Investment Pays
As an organization, we're boots on the
ground, and here are five ways we see
retailers integrating digital technologies
into their businesses:
1. Use mobile technology to accelerate
the success of omnichannel initia-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 5
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover3
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