Retail stores must constantly think of new ways to highlight products and boost sales. While digital efforts are certainly important, and more and more consumers shop online, in-store strategies still remain critical. Despite years of speculation about the demise of physical stores, they are gaining traction once again, underscoring the importance of custom retail store fixtures, such as glass display cases, shelving and stands.
Research shows consumers are still very much interested in purchasing products within physical stores. Custom retail store fixtures can organize and highlight these items, increasing attention and improving accessibility.
Media company TechHQ published an article earlier this month stating brick-and-mortar stores appear to be making a “comeback,” which will manifest in 2019, with retail locations likely utilizing technology to help transform the shopping experience for consumers:
“Shops will get smarter, with retailers using technology such as in-store heat maps and aisle planning to ensure better traffic flow and shorter queues,” it reads.
There’s also the possibility e-commerce businesses may actually open brick-and-mortar locations to attract new consumers and increase profits, continues the article.
“However,” it states, “digitally native businesses can and will come at this in a fresh and unique way that takes a customer-first rather than inventory-first approach.”
"To improve product promotion, retailers can use retail display cases to help catch consumer attention."
Since this hasn’t happened yet, these “fresh and unique” takes on in-store experiences are still evolving, but there are concrete ways current brick-and-mortar locations can get ahead of the curve.
Take how skincare products are displayed, for example.
Remember, a key advantage physical stores have over online businesses is the ability for consumers to actually see, touch, and in some cases, try out products, in person. To improve product promotion, retailers can use retail display cases to help catch consumer attention. These can help with organization, too.
Many people follow a skincare routine, by which they use one product first, then another, and so on, in a specific order. Categorizing such products accordingly with a custom retail store fixture—displaying them in succession, in creative and interactive ways—can help customers find, and ultimately purchase them, easier.
A Forbes article from May of this year makes the same point, specifically focusing on millennials and Generation Z. It highlights statistics showing that the majority of these consumers, while tech savvy, would prefer to make purchases in an actual store.
"Since interest in physical stores is still very much present, even with advancing technology, custom retail store fixtures can only help attract consumers..."
The article cites a survey conducted by beauty research company Poshly and commissioned by San Francisco, Calif.-based Bay Area Beauty Association and digital makeup app Perfect365. Results show that of the 94 percent of millennial women who buy makeup, more than half—65%—purchase products from their smartphone. However, “72% would still prefer to make their purchase in a store,” it explains, the main reason being that they would like to try products first before purchasing them. This is also “why makeup subscription boxes have become such a big hit,” it continues.
Additional data provided by global management and consulting company Accenture focuses on the Gen Z population—those born from the mid-1990s to early 2000s. A total of 10,000 consumers in 13 different countries contributed to this research, revealing similar findings as the previous noted survey.
Even though, as the Forbes article points out, Gen Zers grew up with cell phones, never knowing a time without them: “77% of them would prefer to make a purchase in store.”
“Nearly half of them will check out the product in the store before making an online purchase,” it continues.
Retailers should keep these statistics in mind, as both generations continue to comprise a large part of the consumer population. Since interest in physical stores is still very much present, even with advancing technology, custom retail store fixtures can only help attract consumers who prefer to shop this way, especially for retailers who utilize new technologies in their stores, as well.