The clash of the digital and physical in retail

The digital transformation in retail is imminent. If you are selling jewellery, books or restaurant dishes, the digital is something that is key to invest in for 2018.

International and long loved denim retailer Levi’s has revealed their new marketing strategy for the coming years includes a strong focus on the digital. With a 163 year history behind them, Levi’s have been struggling to remain at the forefront of their industry. With hundreds of competitors arising in the same industry, Levi’s have grappled with distinguishing themselves and defining their point of difference. The strong requirement for shift centres around the changing behaviour of the consumer.

Consumers and customers are constantly on the hunt for that extra bit of connection, the sentiment when a brand goes that extra mile to enhance their experience.

And so Levi have addressed this desire. Appealing to lifestyle and incorporating the physical and digital into one space, Levi is now implementing an AI operated Virtual Stylist which addresses the individual consumer and makes suggestions based on their style preferences and size.

This month Levi Strauss & Co. fourth-quarter net revenues rose by 13 percent. In the same way, their business to consumer income grew 20 percent. These digital additions were part of the Levi Strauss & Co new strategy to incorporate digital and increase sales while enhancing the shopper experience.

Now, imagine a mirror that could recognise you. A mirror that could suggest the perfect pair of shoes to go with the dress you are trying on. Would you believe that this is not very far off? In fact, a number of big US department stores like Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are all trialling variations. These stores are sensing the rise of digital stores like Amazon and thus they need to step up their game! While this doesn’t directly counter Amazon, it addresses the growing need to move forward with technology.

neiman.jpg(Memory Mirror, Neiman Marcus)

So how does this translate to a small business? Well, there many ways that small businesses can begin to create their digital footprint in the physical space.

It may be:

  • Ipad EFTPOS machines
  • Online delivery services >> accessible in-store via iPad
  • An in-store screen displaying brand videos or your newest campaign video
  • The implementation of QR codes around the store
  • A digital business card

The above things are all relatively low cost, yet, on a smaller scale put your business on par with the bigger players giving you the marketing tools to advance your business.

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