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The Birth of Click and Mortar Retailers

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In an age where ‘drone’ and ‘delivery’ are now being used in the same sentence but consumers cry nostalgia for the simple, tactile experience of inspecting an item before buying, the ideal retail experience is getting harder and harder to pin down. The modern shopper demands efficiency but desires human connection. They harken back to a time when the digital experience hadn’t yet lured them into the dark shadows of the Internet, or when in-store limitations hadn’t borne inside them a hostility towards the brick and mortar experience.

For example, 2018 is a time when cars are being strapped to rocket ships and launched into space but retailers are having trouble keeping Gain Tropical Sunrise laundry detergent stocked. The contrast is leaving consumers scratching their heads and retailers losing billions (that’s billions with a b) each year as customers forgo purchases, purchase from competitors, or settle for the convenience of buying online.

Few things are more frustrating to a customer than reading an “Out of Stock” sign in place of the product they came to buy. It took getting into their car, driving out of their way, circling the parking lot for an open space, finding the right aisle only to be greeted by an empty shelf or a sign with those three little words both customers and retailers have come to loathe. Customers respond by opening their Amazon app, and businesses are left with a lost sale. The out of stock issue is no small frustration, in fact, it’s more like a crisis. A crisis that is costing retailers 238 billion a year.

In an age when retailers are competing for every dollar of purchase, they can’t afford to keep hemorrhaging profits on such a preventable problem. And they’re not just feeling it in their wallets, it’s also damaging their customer base too. Loyalty between consumer and brand hinges on trust, and an under-stocked store doesn’t just lose a singular sale, they lose that customer, along with all future sales. When faced with repeated instances of stocking issues, 1 in 5 customers opt to purchase the same product from a competitor. “Retailers are focusing now on striking the balance between profitability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction,” says June20 CEO, Paul Chapuis. “We know it takes all three to make it work.”

So it begs the question: How will retailers prevent customers from pulling out their phones?

Let’s revisit the earlier scenario: a customer drives to the store, circles the parking lot, finds the right aisle, and discovers that the exact product they came to purchase is out of stock. However, in front of the empty shelf is a kinetic digital retail display on which they can search variations or upgrades on the item, read reviews of the item. Customers can have the item sent directly to their phone via an email or text – in the exact same format they just viewed it online – except accompanied by a ‘Buy It Now’ button. Once pressed, the customer is pushed to the retailer’s website and the item is already added to their online shopping cart. The entire process is over in less time than it would have taken to pull out their phone and open their Amazon app.

With 20% of consumers showing higher brand loyalty than store loyalty the need to keep them satisfied with the in-store experience is of paramount importance to retailers across the nation. With a digital tool at their fingertips, consumers are inclined to report more positive experiences. 77% of shoppers use reviews to influence purchasing decisions - plus, shoppers who seek out reviews are more likely to buy additional purchases in store. In short, retailers can deliver the essence of online shopping through interactive devices in the aisle that keep customers staying longer, leaving happier and spending more.

The Converge platform offers consumers the best of both worlds, the clickability of Amazon merged with the desire for the authentic experience of a brick and mortar store. And just like that, the Click and Mortar retailers are beginning to emerge.

With traditional retailers distracted by missed projections and online retailers failing to humanize the shopping experience, Converge stays focused on the ultimate goal: customer satisfaction. The aid of technology has significantly leveled the playing field and made experts of anyone with a WiFi connection. Customer satisfaction is only fractionally based on expert opinion, more and more the emphasis is placed on convenience, experience, and efficiency. The Converge platform answers to those needs and more with cutting-edge technology and the superior experience of intuitive, in-store shopping.