The popularity of large stores is decreasing slightly in recent years, so it is necessary to regain the interest of buyers and meet their needs as a consumer. In this article, we collect three technologies that provide innovation in the way of acting of buyers with shopping centers.
Consumer habits are very variable and sensitive to technological advances. In addition, in recent years, we have seen how the emergence of new solutions has radically changed the way we consume certain services or products. You just have to stop and think about how you communicated with your friends before WhatsApp or how you booked a hotel before the online platforms appeared.
Users are increasingly looking for the convenience and speed in obtaining the products and services they need or want to acquire, which is why companies should be aware of any innovation that occurs in their sector so as not to lose positioning with respect to the competition.
A very clear example is the rise of electronic commerce among retail companies in Spain. Thus the percentage of people who have opted to change the purchase in physical store by online store, has directly affected the profitability of large stores and shopping centers. According to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers and Commercial Parks, the influx fell by 2.8% in 2016.
In spite of not being a crashing fall, it is an indicator of urgent need for change. Both large stores and shopping centers and the stores themselves must adapt to the new requirements of the market, providing the benefits of online shopping and adding a set of associated experiences that increase emotional value and good feelings, so that it has more weight the good experience they have in the mall that the convenience of online shopping.
We are not talking about being the replacement of the online store, but being the perfect complement that offers the best of both the online and the physical. It is in the definition of this meeting point between both where the application of new technological solutions can bring much value for both consumers and companies in the sector, opening the door to new opportunities for interaction.
3 technological solutions to increase sales in large stores
Here we present 3 technological solutions that can be a strategic ally to increase sales in shopping centers.
The change of prices dynamically is a very simple strategy to apply in a web page. Thanks to RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, this can also be taken to physical stores.
In this way, the supply chain can be digitized and a dynamic price applied to all products based on the factors that each one considers convenient, such as the stock level or the expiration date. Thus, perishable products can be automatically discounted if their recommended consumption date approaches.
One of the largest commercial chains in the United States, Kroger, has committed to installing this type of labels in 200 stores, which will also serve to transmit other information such as nutritional values, and could even reach a connection between labels and the smartphone of each one to speed up the purchase process.
We continue with the combination of the digital and physical world with the application of augmented reality thanks to interactive mirrors, which allow the client to try on clothes or even make-up virtually, without having to continually change or getting his face dirty.
Not only can it be applied in fashion stores, but it has also been used in other types of products, such as consumer electronics, for its exhibition. With this technology, what is achieved is a demonstration of the capabilities of the product more visual and practical and also avoids theft problems, since the real object is not exposed to the public.
The use of augmented reality will soon be an obligation for the retail sector. According to the study conducted by DigitalBridge, almost 70% of consumers expect the launch of an augmented reality application in the coming months. However, almost two thirds of companies do not use this technology.
The use of sensors in malls can also be used to receive important information from consumers and take advantage of it to make strategic changes. The indoor mapping solutions help in this aspect to know exactly the location of your customers and make the most of this data.
Thanks to indoor mapping, we can position objects and people within a closed environment and obtain this information in real time, which opens a wide range of possibilities within marketing and business intelligence. As for the large stores, indoor mapping what is achieved is very valuable information, such as which the stores with the most visits are, which places have less affluence, which are the most used routes or where people spend more time.
Specifically, this indoor mapping solution was developed for El Corte Ingles, which sought to update, modernize and transform its sales process and relationship with the customer.
Once again, the collection of information about the user is easier to perform online and digitally, so this application for large stores is designed to take this process to the physical world.
Not only does it favor more informed decision making thanks to the data obtained, but it also directly benefits the consumer thanks to the app that is associated in this same solution. With it, the customer receives personalized offers based on their likes and purchases, has a complete map to locate a specific product or brand and can request the help of a store dependent more quickly.
The application of technology is large stores is essential if you want to maintain the interest of consumers and not fall into a negative trend. Thanks to this type of innovative solutions that we have reviewed, the user will have more reasons to go to these centers and spend their money there. What is sought is to offer an experience that, in other places, and less in online commerce, can be achieved.
It is important to highlight the importance of solutions such as indoor mapping, which help to know in depth the user’s behaviors and needs (in this case, through geolocated data), which allows them to adapt to them and modify the strategies conveniently according to an analysis of the data in real time.