First of all, I must say that I am an intensive online shopper. For many years now, on the web I have bought pants, shirts, refrigerators, computers, games, books, records, shoes, trips and the odd unspeakable item. The experience has been satisfactory in 99% of the cases (the missing 1% corresponds to the website of a cultural multinational with its physical headquarters in Madrid’s Plaza de Callao, whose name I prefer not to tell you out of discretion). The fact is that, in the favorites tab of my browser, there is a kind of virtual shopping center where stores that I trust open their doors, which simplify my purchases and offer me interesting discounts that I usually take advantage of.
In addition, when a problem has arisen, the answer has been satisfactory and that has made me return to them periodically, when in my pocket I carry something more than the handkerchief with which I wipe my tears every time I have to pay the mortgage. And the physical stores? Well, except for specific cases that, for the most part, are related to the attractive price offered by some “outlet” establishments, I use them as physical showcases for items that I later buy on the web. I go to them to try on sizes, browse books, solve doubts, smell perfumes … In short, stores are the places where I touch the purchases that I later digitize with my digits.
Come on, I’m one of that 40% who, according to Tito Calvo, go through physical stores – where technology is reduced to little more than the cash register and the thermostat – and then buy their products through the Malaysia Whatsapp Number List internet. And, in my case, that is so because in the most common “retail” I find certain dissuasive elements that I try to avoid. There are usually many people – it is true that, due to the crisis, not as many as before – crazy music and queues, many queues in front of the boxes, few boxes.
In addition, the growing trend – and often not premeditated but the result of misunderstood savings – towards “self-service” means that you do not even enjoy that humble pleasure that you once found in these spaces: the conversation with the shop assistants. Nor in small businesses where, despite their competitive difficulties, I do not find that personalized treatment that I would like and for which I could think of paying more than in the virtual field. And what would I ask a physical store? Well, there goes my short list to the Three Wise Men, a short and unpretentious relationship.
The thing is summed up in going from the e-shop to the e-shop, coherently combining both sales channels, transferring the virtues of traditional “retail” to the web, and vice versa. I am speaking, above all, of powerful brands that could assume and promote the necessary technological development, although the reduction in prices makes this bet more feasible every day for a greater number of establishments with more modest resources and objectives.
The development of telecommunications networks – faster and more efficient with each passing day – and of the ubiquitous access devices – affordable and easy to use – as well as the reduction in connection prices, eliminate obstacles when it comes to bet on the digital revolution, which must be the longest revolutionary process in universal history.
SoLoMo mentality (Social, Local and Mobile) that, for example, would make it easier to send personalized offers to my smartphone through geolocation tools. And I do not care if you press me in shopping times if it is associated with discounts and suggestions – “if you come to our store and buy that scarf that you need so much in the next hour you will have a 40% discount or 20 % if you buy it during the day “.
Affection and / or recognition. As it happens when we enter a website, when visiting a commercial establishment in which I have bought before and that has my data – “on” and “off” – they should know me. Greet me by name, even intuit why I’m crossing your doorstep. Installing facial recognition systems may be asking too much.
In this sense, this video about the new store concept that Orange presented at its annual innovation show “Show Hello” is of interest, which I had the pleasure to attend this year. If what has to do with the product I have it resolved by technology, perhaps the store employees could dedicate themselves to making my stay happier, in rest areas in which to complete the purchase process through my mobile phone, phablet, tablet or interactive screen.
When they are more efficient, I may even have 3D printers or screens on which to design part of my purchase … or, on the verge of relaxation, I decide to put aside my smartphone and open a paper magazine, like if you were in an old hair salon, or talking to other clients in an environment conducive to it. The coffee alone, please. Fun and surprise while I make my purchases, taking advantage of, for example, Blippar-style virtual reality applications with which I could participate in games, access o