Brick-and-mortar retail — ready for a rebound?

Consumers shopping in a retail mall

The results are in and the prognosis for brick-and-mortar (physical) stores — including those in shopping malls or in their own buildings — is not hopeful.

  • The number of retailers in the U.S. seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is headed towards its highest number since the Great Recession. (CNBC1)
  • At the beginning of Q1 2017, year-to-date retail store closings had already surpassed all of those in 2008. (Credit Suisse2)
  • Online sales of $23 billion in 2014 replaced 76.7 million square feet of bricks and mortar stores. (Colliers International3)

Online retailing is making shopping in physical stores less relevant as the benefits of online shopping — convenience, home delivery and the ability to easily compare prices and features — outweigh the benefits of visiting a mall or store.

Given the dismal facts, it might be tempting to think that retail shopping is dying and will not recover. In fact, that initial observation is far from the truth — consumers still enjoy shopping in retail stores.

Online shopping cannot, at present, capture the experience of shopping in a retail store

While online retailers are experimenting with virtual reality, artificial intelligence, chatbots and other technologies, the experience of seeing, touching, trying products and speaking with knowledgeable salespeople cannot, at present, be replicated online.

Online retailing has yet to capture the real-life experience of shopping in person.

Shopping in brick-and-mortar stores - poised for a comeback?

Retail shopping is ready for a comeback — if retailers are willing to leverage data and data-driven insights to provide a customized shopping experience that meets the needs of shoppers and prospects.

“Data is reinventing the in-store experience. It’s about utilizing the power of data analysis and creating the store of the future.”

@Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO – during his keynote address at the National Retail Foundation Big Show, New York, January 2016

3 ways that retail stores can leverage data to gain a competitive advantage

  1. Test, refine & optimize your marketing mix: Track customer behaviour inside your retail stores to optimize product placement, store layouts and marketing efforts.

2. Create a consistent, omnichannel customer experience: Ensure that your customers’ online and in-store experience aligns.

3. Understand your customer journey: Leverage analytics to optimize store layout, displays, signage & marketing campaigns and offer personalized options for home delivery.

Retailers who use data-driven insights to build agile business processes experience a 15.6% increase in profits

By providing a customized, in-store shopping experience that meets the needs of customers and is difficult to replicate online, data-driven insights and analytics enable brick & mortar stores to compete effectively with online retailers.3


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Unlike other indoor navigation platforms, our ground-breaking core localization technology does NOT require Wi-Fi, Cellular or BLE connections. It can be easily deployed in multi-storey buildings, underground floors and other areas that are generally known as dead-zone locations.

MAPSTED offers a smart mall solution that includes geo-targeted mobile ads and comprehensive shopper analytics — all based on our leading-edge indoor navigation platform.

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1 Retail bankruptcies march toward post-recession high

2 “The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst”: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017. Tyler Durden

3 Three Ways Brick and Mortar Retailers Can Survive In An Online Shopping World. Huffington Post. November 2016