A blog series on Shopper Marketing.

By Cyndi Pyburn

There has been much attention lately in the retail world about the notion of ‘showrooming’ – customers go to the store, check product out, then buy online.  The media would have you believe that the world of bricks and mortar has gone way of the dinosaur.  But let’s look at a Canadian fact:  6% of Canadians currently buy online.  According to the RetailNet Group, this will grow to 10-12% in 2020.

This means that right now, 94% of Canadians are buying in-store.  Hence the notion of ‘web-rooming’ is the real trend at play here.  Customers research online first by checking out retailer and brand websites and then go to the store to buy.  This provides opportunity for both bricks & mortar and online presence.  Digitally influenced retail is growing rapidly.  Digital influence sits at 45% today and is expected to grow to 72% by 2020.  This has tremendous implications for the store experience.

Some retailers are ahead of the curve with regard to digital influence.  Sport Chek is one such example, where they have opened two digital stores – one in Toronto and one at West Edmonton Mall.  These stores inspire Canadians to live healthy, active lives. They are designed to deliver an enhanced customer experience through a network of digital signage, interactive technology and show-stopping digital installations.

Coupled with this, is the explosion of mobile in-store.  While mobile is still in its early adoptive stages, the retail community sees very high-potential.  Features that have long been offered are beginning to be adopted by shoppers as the functionality becomes more seamless and frictionless.  Tasks on the smartphone are becoming mainstream:

Excited about the future of shopping?  I know I am.  Armed with my smartphone, I feel very empowered to make smart money decisions when shopping, knowing that I am getting great value for my hard earned dollars.  Stores that are digital influencers and that allow me to leverage the technology in my hand, will earn increased visitation, basket size, spend and ultimately my loyalty.