When it comes to in-store shopping during the holiday season, opinions tend to be mixed. PwC's “Retailers and the Age of Disruption” survey found that while 68 percent of respondents intentionally browse products in-store before purchasing them online, 73 percent said they browse online and then purchase the products in-store. Consumers can’t decide which channel to buy in, so why shouldn’t retailers help make the decision for them? The following outlines three steps retailers should consider to create a buy, not browse, in-store environment.
The first step in creating an environment that entices shoppers to buy is to invest in a digital core — an end-to-end IT infrastructure that helps brands create a singular experience across channels. This integrated system removes silos to provide retailers with real-time visibility. Brands can manage wholesale, retail and manufacturing processes in one place, easily tracking inventory and the location of products. Even within each set of processes, a digital core eliminates departmental digital islands. Brands can also coordinate and deploy resources along the supply chain journey to be more efficient, cultivating meaningful data at the same time. During the holiday season, store associates can easily maintain inventory and be prepared to find a specific item of interest, online or in-store, at any time.
A digital core can also integrate data from each consumer touchpoint across sales, customer service, commerce and more into a single consolidated system. By connecting these siloed departments, brands can derive insight from each step of the consumer journey to prevent a disjointed experience and deliver personalized messaging. When a consumer enters a store, brands will be armed with the right data and background on each shopper to assist them in the best possible way.