Bricks-and-mortar retailing won’t go away any time soon—if a retailer is using technology in a way that can tie their store in with its online capabilities. The retail space has to be a door into the digital offerings that a retailer can provide. Otherwise, bricks and mortar will suffer.
At the DX3 Conference held virtually earlier this spring, a trio of panelists offered their insights into the future of bricks-and-mortar retailing. Marshall Kay of RFID Sherpa noted that people coming into stores want more options. They want to be able to return products easily and they want to know which products are available in stock, whether they are physically in the store or online and quickly shippable.
The appeal of online interaction within the store will only keep growing. Wes Wolch, senior vice president of marketing at fashion retailer Holt Renfrew, observed that Generation X and Baby Boomers have been what he calls “digital tourists” for many years. “It’s about the relationship between online and bricks and mortar.” He echoed Kay’s observation about the importance of offering in-store returns for products that were ordered online, and the choice to pick up an order in the store or have it delivered.