From “stack ’em high” to “time well spent” — the Emergence of Retail 3.0 - Jacopo D’Alessandris

Talking Trends
3 min readFeb 8, 2022
Image from Unsplash by David Dvořáček

Ever since the onset of the pandemic, the adoption of innovative technologies in retail has increased rapidly. The ever-evolving dynamic retail space is experiencing an all-new style of business — retail 3.0. Retail 3.0 is a brand-new style of retail that has blurred lines between the traditional brick-and-mortar experience and digital commerce.

Online shopping has proven to be perfect for convenience and has given customers access to thousands of reviews and peer recommendations. On the other end, brick and mortar shopping, when executed well, has the potential of providing a better experience — more impulse purchases and ultimately a larger market basket. Retail 3.0, a combination of the two, provides in-store QR codes, better digital guidance across the store, and so on. The combination of the two is crucial — according to this research from Harvard Business Review, there’s value in combining online and in-store shopping: “Shoppers who pick up online orders in-store spend more — up to 25% more in some studies. About a third of clothing ordered online is returned versus 8% bought in-store and processing a return in the store is half of what it costs when an online order is shipped back to a distribution center. Customers who try clothing on in an in-store fitting room are almost 7x more likely to buy than those who search on the web”.

There are so many ways that the online experience and physical stores can be integrated. Connecting with customers over social media is the start — paid marketing, online review sites, relevant content, videos, blogs, and so on. Once a strong connection has been built with your target audience, that is when you must take further steps to ensure that the prospect visits your in-person store.

An article published by Retail Wire, Walmart shoppers find time is well spent in new incubator store, gives an insight into the creative technologies used in some Walmart stores that make the in-person shopping experience like no other.

“Walmart is looking to stimulate interactions with shoppers using QR codes throughout the store and passive smart screens. The QR codes are intended to help pull together the digital and physical shopping experience. In one instance, a code might alert customers to special deals on products of interest. Codes could also be used to educate customers on all that Walmart has to offer.”

After grocery and convenience (Amazon Go) the online retail king, Amazon, is launching a new age, high-tech, real-world clothing store. This new omnichannel Amazon experience, as discussed in the article, Amazon is opening a real-world clothing store with high-tech fitting rooms, is the perfect example of the culmination of online and in-person retail.

No one knows what the ideal final combination of these 2 shopping experiences will be, but one thing is certain: the shopper will greatly benefit from it.



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