Don’t Get Left Behind — How to use Apps for Retail
You hear a lot about apps: there’s an app for this, there’s an app for that. Apps make smartphone users’ experiences more enjoyable and provide a wealth of data to those who develop and utilize them. Over the summer, we saw the Pokemon Go app, developed by Niantic, turn kids into adventure-seekers, and provide Nintendo with important data for their research and product development. In a recent article on MultichannelMerchant.com, Mickael Froger, CEO of ecommerce automation solution provider, Lengow, laid out his 2017 predictions for ecommerce trends. He makes the case for the usual suspects — social media — but his second prediction, “Omnichannel will be everywhere,” makes a strong argument for retailers using apps to drive shoppers to stores rather than purchasing online only. “Having a physical store for customers to visit encourages a deeper personal relationship with customers, instead of constantly interacting through a screen,” he said.
Where do you Get Your Food? Looking to Supermarkets for Retail Guidance
Whether they shop for their own food or whether they use an app and have someone else do their shopping, the majority of food shopping is taking place in actual stores. Food delivery by internet only is still a small niche, though like everything else online, it is growing. Just as the article above predicts and encourages app use to bring people from their phones into stores, supermarkets are changing up the way they present their product assortment in-store, and other retailers should probably take heed as well. In supermarkets, the focus was traditionally on the perimeter of the store, where the fresh produce and dairy staples were always kept. Supermarket retailers are now focusing in the center store, the area in the middle, to keep people coming back for the other items they sell as well. “If the perimeter is the shiny thing right now, don’t fight it. Instead think about ways to use that to get customers in your store and then build the basket from there with center store,” said Beth Busch, senior category development manager with General Mills, at the NGA show, a gathering of independent food retailers, wholesalers and retail industry executives, earlier this month, according to Supermarket News.
City Spotlight–Houston: Village Squares Tackle the Retail Problem
When a mainstream publication takes notice of retail trends, we take notice of their coverage. It’s one thing for industry trades to point out trends and concepts for retail projects but when your neighbors are reading about the latest trends in shopping and living, that’s an indication we could be at the height of a trend. In this case, the Houston Chronicle recently shined a spotlight on the growing number of village squares dotting the landscape in Texas. As Jonathan Brinsden, CEO of Midway, the developer of CityCentre in Houston, told the Chronicle, “It’s our job to seek out tenants that are compelling enough for people to actually go to. You can buy things on Amazon. So what is it that you are selling, or what experience are you offering, that is compelling enough for me to go to your store?” The trick, most agreed, was finding the right mix of retail and other uses, such as office space and entertainment.
ShoppingCenters.com’s Data Means More!
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