In a world where digital technology is advancing at a rapid pace, retailers are faced with the challenge of reinventing their physical stores to meet the expectations of today’s channel-agnostic and digitally savvy consumers. Advancements in technology and innovative ways of thinking about retail strategy have ushered in a new era of shopping in which consumers are receptive to exploring new, diverse buying options and see value in self-service digital environments. This new consumer value system calls for new systems and strategies for stores. The challenge? Finding what to transform when so many options exist. It is for this reason that retailers must apply the model of a purpose-led 6E strategy (engage, emulate, expand, empower, execute, and enable) to transform traditional retail stores into dynamic, customer-centric spaces that enhance experiences and drive business outcomes. Forrester’s The Future Of The Digital Store report will help you:
- Use the power of physical retail. Contrary to the belief that e-commerce will take over, physical retail continues to play a pivotal role in the retail industry. According to Forrester, a staggering 72% of total US retail sales are projected to (still) happen in physical stores by 2028. Consumers find value in in-store shopping, which allows them to engage their senses by touching, seeing, smelling, and hearing products, an experience that digital cannot replicate.
- Gain a competitive edge through omnichannel capabilities. The future of retail hinges on an omnichannel approach. Investments in omnichannel capabilities are growing, with click-and-collect sales expected to surpass $200 billion by 2028. These capabilities, both online and offline, are helping retailers gain a competitive advantage.
- Deliver meaningful improvements to customer experiences. In this evolving landscape, retailers should focus on delivering experiences that consistently fulfill consumer needs. These needs extend beyond the product itself and encompass emotional and personal elements. For instance, 27% of US online adults choose to shop with a retailer due to exceptional customer service, while only 6% make their decision based on social or environmental responsibility. Building diverse capabilities that cater to different consumer preferences, such as curbside pickup, can be the defining factor for consumers choosing one retailer over another.
The 6E Strategy For Digital Store Transformation
To meet these new consumer expectations and the demands of a digital world, retailers must implement a 6E strategy:
- Engage customers. Use technology to engage customers actively in the store, such as via augmented reality and enhanced apps.
- Emulate e-commerce. Integrate the best of online shopping into the in-store experience.
- Expand impact. Use stores to collect data, offer additional services, and learn about customer interests.
- Empower associates. Provide employees with tools and information to assist customers effectively.
- Execute operations. Streamline operations for a positive customer experience and healthy margins.
- Enable insights. Use data management and analytics to gather customer insights while respecting privacy preferences.
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