How to connect digital experiences to what’s going on in the store

The explosion of digital has been both a blessing and a curse for retailers. On the one hand, it has created new commerce channels and sales touch points. On the other, it’s made engagement in the store much, much harder.

Mobile in particular has profoundly impacted consumer behaviour. In addition to providing shoppers with a portable platform for online retail, it has become a welcome distraction tool within the store environment. I’m sure we’ve all reached for our smartphone to check prices, message friends or keep ourselves entertained in the checkout queue at some point!

The result of this is that many retailers feel mobile has created a disconnection between customers’ online and offline experiences – but only a few are doing something to address it.

Iconic British shoe manufacturer and retailer, Clarks, is one such driving force. Rather than being phased by the growth of digital, it has positively sought to reshape its store experiences by incorporating technology into face-to-face encounters.

Clarks has done this by implementing Moki Total Control, a tablet solution that brings online capabilities to store associates. By placing core product information and inventory data at the fingertips of its staff, the retailer is able to offer more informative customer experiences – which keep shoppers closely engaged.

Not only has this enabled Clarks to mirror its physical and online experiences, deploying tablets as a sales tool has improved store performance; basket abandonment rates are down, while cross-selling and up-selling has increased.

By embracing consumers’ love for technology, Clarks has successfully bridged the digital/physical gap to deliver relevant and contextual interactions in the store. It is this connected service that recognises the value of customers in all channels, and nurtures relationships for long-term brand loyalty.

With 37% of online retail activity now generated by mobile devices, the impact of digital influences on physical retail is only going to heighten. Clarks is ahead of its game in realizing and reacting to this mind shift – and it’s time other retailers followed in their footsteps.

About the Author: Michael Girdley