In cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Hamm-Lippstadt, POS TUNING had a bachelor thesis prepared on the topic "The chances and risks of stationary trade in the digital age". 112 decision makers in stationary trade were interviewed.
Traditional and digital measures
The result was that the outside of a market seems to have a lot of importance for retailers as well as regular promotions. Furnishing elements, shelf management systems as well as customer guidance systems and lighting are often used to enhance the customer experience and the appearance of the store.
In the digital sector, more traditional measures such as a company's own website or app, social media or mobile couponing are also used. Cashless payment with smartphones seems to be just as common, but with classic checkouts. Self-scanning or cashless payments and the use of beacons have so far been rare in stationary retail.
Rapid technological change and the changing customer base were cited as obstacles to more investment, but on the other hand, insufficient budgets were also mentioned.
When evaluating the market size and the age structure of the decision makers, it became clear that the investments and the number of measures are higher in larger markets, as these often have more budget. In addition, the 31- 49-year-old store managers in particular saw digitization as an opportunity. This is of course neither surprising.
Time and experience are decisive factors
The conclusion was that stationary shoppers need significantly more time compared to online shopping. It would therefore be advisable for stationary retailers to save time. This can be achieved by using self-scanning devices or self-scanning cash registers, or by shopping without cash registers. After all, other studies have repeatedly confirmed the checkout area as the number one customer nuisance.
When shoppers already go to stationary retail, they expect more than before. They want a feel-good atmosphere and a shopping experience. Therefore, the second recommendation was to increase measures for better orientation, a higher quality appearance of the stores and categories therein.
This includes attractive furniture, emotional signage, special floor coverings, but also pushfeed systems and lighting.
Digital measures such as shopper activation at the shelf using beacon and Bluetooth technology can also help. In the future, for example, individualized offers could be sent to customers' smartphones as soon as they approach a certain category. Monitors on the shelf with recipe suggestions and product information can also be activated by beacons when products are removed.
The conclusion is that stationary retail does not yet see the digital change and the necessary investments associated with it as so urgent, since the share of food purchased online is still small. However, retailers should not oversleep the change and try to keep customers loyal in their stores.