Shopping is something that as people, we do almost everyday, and if you happen to be taking a day off from emptying your bank balance, then hundreds of thousands of other people are doing it instead.
But, as does everything in this world, retail has changed. Shopping ten years ago vs shopping now would make the easiest game of spot the difference.
It's a common sight now to see a staff member holding a tablet of some sort as they welcome you into their store, possibly with a questionnaire or survey for you to fill in on your 'experience' With a few finger taps on a touchscreen they can tell you if what you want is in stock and how many colors they have it in. The days of waiting for someone to go downstairs to a stock room, leaving you standing there is in the past.
Online vs Offline is a battle that shoppers don't seem fazed by. Shopping online has become just another part of daily life and you can see why. No trying to find a parking spot in town, no awkward social encounters, no changing room tears. You can even buy your weekly food shop online, saving you from the judging eyes of a cashier when they see the several tubs of chocolate ice cream in one trolly.
The way staff members communicate has been changed by technology- for the better some would say. The use of walkie talkies enables staff to stay on the shop floor, talking to customers, welcoming the, advising and helping them. If they need someone else, just a few words into a walkie talkie and your product you requested is in your hands. Ant troublesome or perhaps aggressive customers can be dealt with, meaning a staff member has support in almost an instance. You'll be hard pushed to find a staff member without a walkie talkie clipped on to their uniforms.
The way a shop is organised has changed. A shop may have at on time, have an interior that was designed for ease or attractiveness. Now, many retailers have used psychological analysis to determine the best way that a shop layout can sell more, by how it looks, where the products are placed could subtly make you buy more. Sounds sneaky, but by careful planning a shop could make you buy more. Which is pretty much want retail wants. It's a near win win.
Shops are bigger. When walking down the street you'll see shops expanding upward and outwards. Scaffolding all over the place with 'We're still open' banners taped up everywhere. More levels, more floor room, more stuff. More people. More money.
What they sell
Trends are huge in this day and age, be it fashion, make up, hipsters or brands. Many retailers know and take advantage of this. So a lot of retailers have sections of the same theme. Chain stores are becoming a trend. Those little quirky hidden gems of a shop are becoming a little more hidden.
Retail has changed. And it will carry on changing.
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