We know how aggressively some retailers are using digital technology outside of the store. Now, more firms are becoming whizzes with the “digital brick-and-mortar store.”

According to Olga Kharif, writing for Businessweek: “Retailers that relied on impulse buys, especially along checkout lines, are struggling to keep the attention of consumers. The culprit? Smartphones. Stores are redesigning their floor spaces and product displays to take advantage of new apps designed to encourage shopping.”

Click the terrific Businessweek graphic below for a large view of how a typical digital brick-and-mortar store would operate.

Illustration by Kris Mukai


11 Replies to “The High-Tech Brick-and-Mortar Store”

  1. I found it funny how most of the people in the graphic are so focused on their phones that they are not paying attention to their surroundings (such as the lady walking into the glass window or the man about to step on the banana peel). Some of the ideas I believe would be greatly useful (such as the personal scanner and iPad checkout); however some of them do not appeal to me but would appeal to Super Shoppers who enjoy “scanning codes” or using Foursquare to get good deals.

  2. This illustration is just a reaffirmation of the fact that social networking/mobile technology is become as prevalent as ever, and can be utilized by businesses to enhance the shopping experience for consumers. It seems like soon, you won’t even need a wallet because everything will be done from a smartphone.

  3. The picture is a really good representation of our generation. We are constantly distracted by what is on the screen in our hand rather than engaging with the people who are around us. More and more stores are creating apps or deals to reach out to consumers that are on the go. This tactic is making marketing easier to directly reach out to certain target markets.

  4. I’ve seen more and more stores doing this now and I think it is great way to enhance marketing. I work at a local supermarket which is constantly competing with national brands like Stop and Shop and are always trying to find ways to set themselves apart. Within the past year they have done some of these things – set up QR codes through the store to scan and get discounts and using social media sites like twitter to target consumers and make direct connections whether it is a simply reply back to a tweet or some sort of coupon project.

  5. If the median or average age is in the upper 30s, are the retailers actually targeting the correct audience? Even when looking at that picture, the target audience is the group below the median or average age. I’m also not sure if encouraging everybody to store their entire life on their phone a good idea, especially how easily accessible a person’s phone is.

  6. I think one of the main points that marketers want to emphasize in this case is the ease of shopping. You would no longer have to wait in long lines, or have to cut out coupons yourself…you can actually save money and time which ultimately enhances the shopping experience. And when shopping becomes more enjoyable rather than an obligation, consumers are very likely to shop more…. It’s a win win for everyone. I am actually really looking forward to these new apps.

  7. This illustration sums up the new generation of consumers really well. We are always on our phones, looking for coupons, tweeting about where we are, or talking to a friend about the cutest shirt we just found. Those items near the checkout are no longer that interesting because now we are paying more attention to our phones. But a lot of retailers have picked up on this trend, and have tried to get ahead by using technology instead of ignoring it. Just like this illustration depicts, businesses are now helping to speed up lines with iPad checkouts. Sephora has really taken advantage with this new technology. Their app allows customers to pre-pick their products and see if it is in stock in a certain store, or if there are any discounts or special promotions that run with the product. But in additional they also have a section where a consumer can look for coupons for specific stores or specific products. These types of apps make shopping at stores more fun, and as a consumer I feel like I’m always getting a deal.

  8. I definitely think this is a great way to incorporate technology, something that has become so big in our lives, with every day activities such as shopping. If my smart devices were constantly receiving coupons or perks to enhance my shopping experience, I would be more in love with shopping than I already am. It is kinda cool to think about what could come over the years because of technology. When I shop, I constantly have my phone in my hand and this is a way companies could market their products to our generation especially.

  9. Technology is the changing the game plan for everyone. Everyone has to keep up with technology or they will be left behind. Stores beginning to use smartphone apps and incorporating them into how you buy stuff is very useful and convenient. The other day I bought something at Dick’s Sporting Goods and they scanned a coupon right off of my iphone that they emailed to me. It is a great change.

  10. This is a key example of how much of an impact technology has. It is crazy that people are so unaware of their surroundings because of their smartphones. I think the iPad check out is such a smart and helpful idea. They have them at the apple store and it makes shopping so much more convenient. There are so many times that I want to purchase something, but then I see a long line and change my mind. With the iPads that is never an excuse and I think that it will increase sales tremendously.

  11. I think it is very smart of most brick and mortar stores to embrace the technological age and working with it instead of staying in their ways. Many shoppers now are comparing prices in store with what they find on their smartphone. Best Buy, if I remember correctly, has a price match system where if you find the same product for less online they will match it for most items they sell. Using apps such as foursquare also helps because it gets people to actually come to the store for their item, which in turn enables them to see other items they would like to buy. Also in the info graphic is the iPad checkout, which is mostly noticeable in the Apple store. I like this idea because it makes transactions happen much quicker and lets customers skip the line entirely which many of them dread. Technology is making brick and mortar stores much more accessible in my opinion.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.