Perch CEO shares the 6 factors driving in-store engagement
Trevor Sumner, CEO of Perch, wrote a recent blog post about the similarities of HBO’s Chernobyl and the upcoming boom within in-store retail. He says that while similar to the pent up blast of Chernobyl, instead the outcome of the retail explosion will be positive and the “magnitude will be astounding.” Read ahead as this proved prescient given Walmart’s and Target’s earnings announcements last week.
He mentions the six driving factors behind in-store engagement, and how they will lead to this ultimate explosion in adaptation.
Physical retail is beginning to challenge eCommerce and the Amazon effect. Retailers have begun investing more where eCommerce giants like Amazon struggle -- their physical stores, where “customers are more profitable [and] customer loyalty is more influenced.”
Shoppers are beginning to demand the convenience of digital media in-store. It’s no secret the public is addicted to the convenience of having everything they need at their fingertips. Now, similar digital design is being demanded in-store.
Content marketing is king, and brands already have the assets to back up in-store digital. Almost all retailers understand the importance of generating fresh and exciting content. Now, with the support of their loyal customers, they can capitalize on that content in-store.
Hardware is becoming more powerful, affordable and reliable. The equipment PERCH uses has a lifetime of 6 years, and prices will continue to go down 10-20% YoY.
Computer vision is the progressing exponentially. The software itself is incredibly powerful and can gather more digital data than ever before.
In-store designers want more data collection than just sales. Collecting behavioral data based on store architecture is the ideal scenario for store designers and top executives. After all, data-driven decisions are the wisest decisions.
Walmart beats out Instacart for online grocery customers by a landslide
According to research for data company Second Measure, Walmart has surpassed Instacart in online grocery customers, with 62% more shoppers using the retailer’s pickup and delivery services in June than the e-commerce provider.
The retail giant has more existing store locations in the U.S. than any other retailer, and the brand goes beyond brick-and-mortar with their online and in-store grocery sales, capturing more than 50% of grocery sales within 43 metropolitan areas and 160 smaller markets in the U.S., with a 70% share or more of grocery in 38 of these regions.
Despite growing grocery sales throughout the U.S., Walmart is yet to reach the New York City market. The primary operators in New York include FreshDirect (with 31% of online shopper traffic), AmazonFresh (20%), and Amazon Prime Now (18%), according to Second Measure. The reason for the delay comes from former mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2014 statement that Walmart wasn’t welcome in the city.
Amazon also continues to hold a share of the online grocery segment, but AmazonFresh saw a decrease in sales of 19% compared to last year, while Amazon Prime experienced an increase 3x it’s normal sales volume with raving customer reviews. The two-pronged approach seems to be hurting Amazon more than helping, with AmazonFresh receiving some of the lowest ratings in a recent Consumer Reports survey.
Regardless of poor ratings of AmazonFresh, Amazon is still capturing a large share of online food and beverage sales, accounting for 30% of all online grocery spending in the U.S., according to a survey from Brick Meets Click.
Betabrand bridges the gap between digital podcasts and physical retail
Betabrand has taken in-store experiential design to the next level by merging two different worlds: online podcasts and physical retail. As of 2019, they’ve built a “Podcast Theater” that hosts podcasts in front of a live audience at their retail location.
The San Francisco-based company brings small- to medium-sized podcasts to its store every Thursday and invites nearly 100 guests to listen in, according to Retail TouchPoints. The popularity of the program grew immensely, with nearly three months-worth of podcasts booked in just three days.
“Podcasting is the new blog, and everyone either has one or is considering launching one,” said Chris Lindland, Founder of Betabrand in a statement. “We put out a call for performers on Facebook and had three months of shows booked in under 10 days — with some traveling from as far away as New York to perform."
And it’s not just the in-store attendees and podcasts hosts who know about Betabrand. Because of the digital broadcasting (both through the podcast and social media sharing), nearly 100x more shoppers are introduced to the brand on a weekly basis.
Betabrand is no stranger to experiential innovation with their flagship store. They currently leverage a crowdfunding platform that lets online shoppers decide which clothes get designed and sold on their website. They’ve also participated in more nontraditional brand promotions such as offering $35 “platypus eggnog” during the holiday season.
The bridge between digital podcasts and in-store experience was an innovative move for Betabrand. Other brick-and-mortar experiential concepts are emerging as well, such as Sephora’s in-store makeovers and Macy’s STORY project featuring classes, workshops, and activities all within their retail locations.
Sounding Smart by The Retail Water Cooler
Banana Republic will be launching an online women’s apparel subscription service in the U.S. at the end of September, according to a press release. The monthly fee of $85 will cover three garments of their choice, free priority shipping and laundering services, and unlimited exchanges and returns. They plan to add men’s apparel to the mix “at a later date,” according to the release.
Target reported blowout earnings driving a 19% surge in their stock price as they reported a 17% increase in profits on 3.6% revenue growth and raised their full year estimates. Target said same-day fulfillment services, including order pickup, drive up and Shipt same-day delivery business, contributed nearly 1.5 percentage points of its overall same-store sales growth.
Walmart ended Q2 in a strong position with revenue growth of 1.8% year over year to $130.4 billion, sales rising 2.8% and domestic e-commerce sales growing 37%, according to a press release. Net income for Q2 was nearly $3.7 billion, and the retailer’s stock jumped 5% within this week.
According to a study by researcher WBR Insights, retailers aren’t prepared to support technologies like AI and AR/VR to engage mobile shoppers. The biggest prohibitors were budget, a lack of internal resources, and a lack of executive buy-in, according to the study. Retailers have instead defined mobile payments, AI and chatbots, and on-demand same-day services as technologies with the most potential to improve mobile commerce.
Last year, retailer turnover rose to 81%. Replacing part-time retail workers costs 16% of their salary. Studies have found that a great onboarding strategy makes workers 69% more likely to stay longer than three years, and consequently, 67% of turnover drops when employees remain engaged.
The North Face announced this week an experiential store concept in SoHo, which opened on Friday, according to a company press release. In efforts to transform its stores into “basecamps for exploration,” the stores will feel more like the brand than a place to shop, and will be built using sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, steel, granit, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, per the release.
Nordstrom has achieved 100% pay equity for employees of all genders and races, per a company announcement. The retailer did this successfully by looking at base salary and assessing whether employees with similar roles, levels of experience and performance were receiving equal pay for equal work.
Lojas Americanas S.A., a Brazilian retailer has announced it will deploy checkout-free technology from Zippin at its Ame Go convenience stores throughout the country. Customers can gain entry to the new stores by scanning the company’s Ame Digital app, and picking up products within the 250-3,000 square foot stores, according to Retail TouchPoints.
With the aid of Proship, an automated multi-carrier shipping solution provider, retailer GNC will add ship-from-store functionality to more than 400 of its stores, according to Retail TouchPoints. GNC will begin using this technology at three distribution centers, and is another step towards an omnichannel-focused strategy.