Stores that stun: How the in-store experience is evolving, and what you need to compete

Steve Dietch
Chief Revenue Officer
Steve brings over 25 years of global, cross-functional experience in multi-billion-dollar and start-up environments and is responsible for driving the revenue growth at Bridg.

As COVID-related restrictions lift, retailers of all types are revisiting their in-store strategy to remain competitive in a tight market. As it turns out, despite the continued surge in ecommerce, consumers of all age groups– including Gen Z–still want to shop in-store. In PwC’s annual consumer survey, 65% of consumers indicated that they would rather shop in-store to avoid delivery fees while 60% wanted to obtain items right away.  

The convenience and immediacy of in-store shopping favored by consumers point to a major advantage brick-and-mortar businesses hold over their online-only counterparts—and one most brands are looking to capitalize on in one form or another: live experience. And while a winning in-store experience can take different forms, all have one thing in common: they’re personalized (McKinsey).

Let’s discuss how you can take in-store experience to the next level–and why you need the right data to pull it off.

Make it convenient, personalized, delightful—and linked to the online experience 

No matter how you choose to wow your store visitors, all in-store experiences should feel specifically tailored to the target market. Prioritizing personalization pays, driving an average 10-15% revenue lift while companies with faster growth drive 40% more revenue from personalization than their slow-growth peers (McKinsey). And according to Salesforce, 64% of customers expect tailored customer engagements based on past interactions.

Plus, even the most show stopping in-store experience will fall short if it exists in a vacuum. Brick-and-mortar must blend seamlessly into a larger omnichannel strategy. Because before stepping foot in the store, even brick-and-mortar die-hards will still browse online. Case in point: 

56% of shoppers visit a store before making a purchase online, while 74% of shoppers search online before visiting a store (FitSmallBusiness).

We’ve looked at three recent examples of in-store experience and how they’re leveraging personalization, relevance and omnichannel convenience to their advantage. 

Nike goes local

Nike is hoping to strike a chord with those in pursuit of more local experiences with its new store format, Nike Live. Smaller and designed to create a more intimate feel, these locations and their products are tailored to their respective markets, featuring local sports team merchandise and decor appropriate for the community. 

Note: the consumer preference for community is not limited to apparel. According to a study conducted by Accenture, 47% of consumers say they’d participate in a grocer’s loyalty scheme if there were a greater focus on local products and offerings. 

Dick’s makes a play for the discount shopper

Dick’s Sporting Goods, for its part, is narrowing in on a subset of its customer base: the discount shopper. In order to better engage the discount customer, they’re launching three new store concepts that feature off-price models: Going, Going, Gone, Overtime and Warehouse Sale. Targeted shoppers get a tailored experience in the store that goes beyond coupons and integrates the savings they seek directly into the in-store experience.

Giant Eagle caters to health concerns

Consumers like feeling connected to the community and engaged according to their individual shopping preferences, but they’re also increasingly looking to the in-store experience for inspiration and guidance, particularly when it comes to health and wellness. 

Grocery shoppers, for example, might seek in-store inspiration to discover their next favorite ingredient or dish. Giant Eagle shoppers can go a step further and get an entire personalized vitamin program. In partnership with the personalized vitamin company Vous Vitamin, the grocer is offering health stations at 220 of its storefronts that allow customers to complete a short survey, determine the right vitamin blend for their needs and arrange for home delivery (with a 5% discount to boot). Customers can also use the health stations to check their blood pressure, get healthy recipes and other health education resources, and earn rewards. 

In one experience, Giant Eagle customers get a personalized product, omni channel delivery and invaluable resources—and all they had to do was show up.

You can’t do any of this without the right data 

Here’s the catch: none of these examples would be possible without rich customer data that reveals individualized and localized preferences. Unfortunately, only about 25% of retailers track their in-store traffic—a  major obstacle to taking advantage of in-store opportunities and competing against ecommerce giants.

How can you deliver on new consumer expectations and make your in-store experience competitive when you don’t know who’s in your store?

You may be closer than you think. POS data, when enhanced with additional insights, can unlock the information you need to deliver personalized offers, adjust store layout, plan for in-store experiences and more. When leveraged in a privacy-safe way, you can use it to incorporate insights on actual purchases, preferred items, frequency, price sensitivity, promotional history, daypart and channel preferences—all toward creating an unforgettable, personalized experience that meets the needs of your customer base.

Curious about the power of your POS data? 

Read our latest whitepaper to learn more about available targeting approaches for brick-and-mortar retail—and how leveraging the payment instrument and POS data can help you reach a variety of marketing goals.

We’re here to help, reach out to us if you want to talk!