We do miss “mom and pop” stores for sure. We miss the emotions they triggered, we miss the experience, we miss the fact that there were once places that knew who we were, what we liked, what kind of ice cream flavor we preferred.
The times have changed, so have the stores and so have we; the humans, the shoppers.
Yet shopping today is still an emotional issue although in the given industrial ecosystem, it might, from time to time, seem that it has lost anything to do with feelings. Brands tend to think about feelings when it comes to advertising and when they try getting the shopper in the store. But what about once the shopper steps in the store? What then? Are we able to provide her with any kind of emotional experience. Unless, the store the shopper steps in is of the “premium” kind, the experience she is going to get is pretty straight forward; a concise interaction with the sales associate. If the interaction is a positive one, the odds are such that it will turn into a purchase.
However, new shoppers are extremely talented in terms of their search and comparison capabilities, therefore when they interact with a sales associate, they want more than a mere yes/no interaction. They want to see that the associate is also as talented. They want to encounter both the emotional satisfaction of interaction with a human being and the technical capabilities that a digital shopping experience enables.
In today’s highly volatile and competitive economic environment, it is critical that brands are equipped with tools to give the best of both realms, the emotional aspect of the physical and the technological superiority of the digital. It’s almost imperative for brands to address the emotions and expectations of the next generation shoppers. The question is how they are going to do this.
Shopi integrates physical retail world to digital experiences, however the emphasis of experience in all its products is such that it centralizes interaction between the customer and the brand that may occur in various forms. This emphasis stems from the very fact that emotions still constitute the core of shopping activity.
Interaction between the customer and the sales associate or the product or the store in general is an important one to be developed.
It’s that moment when a shopper goes into a store, likes a product but can’t find the right size and it’s that moment when she asks if what she wants is available in the right color and the sales associate has to disappear for a while to go the storage to see if it’s actually in stocks or not?
It is also that moment when a shopper goes into the store to get the newest phone possible and the only thorough information she can get is online and not in the store and that moment when a long register line seems too much to handle or that heavy stroller that she really likes is too heavy to carry.
Those moments of disappointment and deciding not to purchase are exactly what we should be thinking of eliminating as technology partners. Those feelings that occur during those inadequate experience are the ones to be replaced with new and positive ones and the good news is that we are working hard to achieve that.