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How digital is shaping the in-store shopping experience

Earlier this month, sportswear brand Adidas released the new EQT Support 93/Berlin shoe. On the surface, they look like just another stylish release from the brand, with contrasting stripes and camouflage detailing. However, in reality, the trainers actually double as a ticket to ride on public transport in Berlin.

The tongue of the trainers feature a fabric version of the BVG — Berlin’s transport company — annual travel pass. The shoes cost €180 to buy, while an annual travel ticket costs more than four times this amount.

Needless to say, queues of people waited outside of shoe store Overkill in Berlin, whether it was for the shoes themselves or for the discounted travel they offered.

So how does this relate to digital marketing? What Adidas’ partnership with BVG underlines is the importance of the overall customer experience. While Adidas’ efforts may have taken place offline, experiential marketing is something that is set to impact digital marketing in the coming months.

With this in mind, we discuss some key digital developments we can expect to see permeating the in-store shopping experience over the coming years:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already being used by marketers to deliver smarter, more targeted campaigns. While its use online will undoubtedly increase, we can expect to see this grow outside of the digital domain too.

Through integrated sensor systems, stores will be able to gather data about our shopping habits. As part of this, the products we pick up or spend time looking at could be used to drive future marketing activity. This data could be used to send offers to customers in-store and encourage them to purchase a particular product, for example, or drive personalised advertising.

Eventually, technology could evolve to link online and in-store customer behaviour to drive greater insights for brands.

How we shop

The traditional high street store is set to change — and we’re already experiencing it. Amazon Go has no staff, no queues and no checkouts — customers simply select the products they want from the store and will be billed digitally after leaving. We can expect to see more retail outlets harness these new communication channels.

In fact, we may not even have to leave home to shop, thanks to the promising growth of virtual reality.

How digital fits in

The use of digital in-store is expected to grow, as customers increasingly demand easier checkout processes. Thanks to the rise of contactless payments such as Apple Pay, we can expect to see fewer physical till points and more staff members taking payments via mobile devices.

We can expect to see a growth in showrooming too — where customers visit a store to gain a physical experience of a product before completing their purchase online. At this point, they will turn to digital means in order to compare prices — so it’s more important than ever to strengthen your online presence.

If you’re a retailer, speak to Mediaworks. Our search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search (PPC) services can help you capture more customers in an evolving digital sphere, while our data specialists will help you better understand your customers’ shopping habits.

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