The retail industry is going through difficult times. There are any number of reasons for this, some of which are avoidable and some of which are not. A few traditional big-brand stores have survived so far, but their days may be numbered, as technology informs the way we shop with increasing persistence.
The old days
There was a time when filling the shopping basket was a matter of visiting a wide variety of very different stores – the butcher for the Sunday roast, the vegetable shop on the corner, the fishmonger, and the chemist for soap and toothpaste. The supermarket put a stop to that.
The next blow to hit retailers was the web. All of a sudden, we could do the weekly shop from the comfort of an armchair and the choice available to us was huge. Home delivery had arrived and we could buy literally anything we wanted from any corner of the globe and know when it was going to be delivered.
Successful companies have known for a while that keeping up to date is key to survival. A poor location is not going to work and out-of-date layouts and displays will be off-putting for the modern consumer. Retailers know that if they are going to get us out of our comfort zones, they are going to have to do better, and in store media is the latest thing.
The big screen
The modern consumer can be tempted to go shopping if the technology is right and in store media is literally making giant steps. Sound and visuals are making something as simple as choosing a new t-shirt as exciting as an outing to the latest blockbuster. By using in store media from Mood Media, for example, retailers can transform a store into a whole new shopping experience. In the same way that some airlines have used signature music to brand their service, brands of up-market clothing are doing the same thing.
It may not be possible for all retailers to go down the media route in the same way that some leading brands have. Having a totally refurbished store can be expensive. What is certain, however, is that the modern shopper is looking for much more than endless, neatly stacked piles of products in all sizes.