Are you overthinking your tech?
The case for simplicity gains steam.
Companies invest millions of dollars a year in technology to enhance, personalize, and optimize the retail experience. From AR platforms that help shoppers visualize products in their own home, to virtual stores with virtual fitting rooms, hi-tech solutions are popping up everywhere we look.
We're not gonna lie. AR, VR, and MR platforms are innovative, impressive, and - let's face it - pretty cool.
These technologies have been hailed as the next big thing in retail, particularly for grocery, apparel, sporting goods, and furniture.
Are tech investments driving sales and customer loyalty?
Yes and no.
On the yes side, IoT devices (think smart watches, microchip-embedded clothing, and other wearable tech) have emerged as popular items over the last few years. Forbes recently shed some light on how AR solutions are seeing record sales and rising product demand.
On the no side, consumers have been slow to adopt these technologies, particularly in brick-and-mortar.
For one thing, change happens slowly. Consumers need to see the value in new solutions that solve a real problem and are more than a “nice to have” benefit. For another thing, retailers need to better understand their customers, including the ones they may be missing out on.
The psychology of shopping is such that people want to get in and get out. Think of busy parents. They aren’t going to spend time using VR platforms to play in a virtual grocery store – they just need diapers and a new toothbrush.
Physical in a digital world
Consumer demand for technological solutions amid a fast-growing call for digital transformation means that people crave digital services. But even in a digital world, customers want hi-tech solutions that offer simplicity and convenience.
So if an AR solution isn’t compatible with a shopper’s device or it only works well when held vertically, the likelihood of adoption goes down…fast.
Therein lies new opportunities for innovation that drives real engagement. Whether it’s improving curbside pickup, chatbot support, e-receipts for contactless shopping, or new omnichannel solutions, keep it simple and frictionless.