When it comes to technology, there are solutions for everything. Whether it’s software, hardware or services, the marketplace is ready. But what about for retailers? For so long, brick-and-mortar stores have been threatened by online vendors and e-commerce platforms, but now there is a resurgence in the industry that is bringing the storefront back into the spotlight. At a very high level retail isn’t dying, but rather it is evolving. The future of retail is infused with technology and user experiences that are engaging, thoughtful and motivate consumers to purchase.
Just look at brands that started online, such as Casper, Warby Parker, and Toms. These brands all now have physical storefronts that attract thousands of customers a day. It’s all about delivering an in-person retail experience, and for that, of course, there is a solution. While it’s still a relatively new industry term, Retail as a Service is taking the relatively traditional brick-and-mortar world by storm.
Introducing Retail as a Service
While it’s pretty easy to understand the gist of Software as a Service and Platform as a Service from their names alone, Retail as a Service is another beast altogether. In it’s most basic form, Retail as a Service is the process of bundling e-commerce and in-store technology such as POS, service and support, loyalty subscriptions and programs, and gift cards in one tech-savvy package. It’s vitally important not to over-engineer this package as customers still need a seamless digitally infused experience from a usability perspective
As retail steadily continues to move online, many brick-and-mortar retailers are starting to look for ways to set themselves apart from the competition and deliver best-in-class engagement experiences in-store. The only way to do this was to shift the traditional retail model, which was how Retail as a Service was born. So, instead of a customer doing the heavy lifting when it comes to finding, engaging, and maintaining a long-term relationship with a brand, Retail as a Service solutions are giving brands the power to take these relationships into their own hands.
Retail as a Service in the Real World
If you’re looking to implement a Retail as a Service solution in your store, here is a best-in-class example of how to implement a successful campaign:
Try before you buy displays: The traditional form of experiential retail, try before you buy displays are a great way to get your feet wet in Retail as a Service. These types of displays allow customers to browse and engage with your merchandise without feeling any pressure to actually make a purchase. Try before you buy displays work with many industries ranging from cosmetics to technology.
Tracking in-store product engagement: If you’re leveraging a try before you buy display, the technological aspect here will be the analytics and insights behind the customer interactions. With Retail as a Service solutions, brands can track these customer engagements to see which features they’re interested in, what messaging resonates best, and what products attract the most customer attention, and then update marketing efforts to reflect these finding. Bluewater is happy to discuss what a solution might look like for your stores.
A/B tests: Once brands have the insights available from in-store engagement tracking, they can implement real-time A/B tests to try out different brand positioning and merchandise value propositions. This is an amazing opportunity for brands who are introducing new products to the market to see how customers react and engage face-to-face. Additionally, with integrated LED screens connected to merchandise, these tests can be implemented behind-the-scenes for a seamless customer experience in store.
Real-time messaging updates: Finally, once all the testing and implementation is finished, brands can update their product messaging for in-store customers in real-time. Instead of wasting time printing off signage, working with designers, and shutting down displays to update outside of store hours, brands can automatically update their displays with customer-focused messaging that is tested and proven to increase conversions.
Get Started Now
Retail as a Service is the new frontier of digitally infused shopper marketing, and it’s time to get started. To learn more about how your team can implement a best-in-class Retail as a Service solution in your store, talk to the team of experts at Bluewater. We can help you figure out the right solution for your unique brand. Learn more now.