Specialty beauty retailer Sephora (2,300 stores worldwide) seems to be a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to brick and mortar retail. As this article describes, they are using technology to give control to the consumer and create a “fun” experience for them. They are reducing the role of the sales person and giving the customer the power to interact with them or not. They note that their customers tend to know more about the product than the sales person anyway.
What trends that we mostly knew about do we see here?
- The customer is in charge
- Providing an experience is important
- There will be fewer retail jobs.
- Retail technology continues to advance
- The advantage is increasingly with the big players, because the cost of the technology per store is way less in 1,000 stores than in 10 or in one.
- The traditional ways in which brands try to influence customer perceptions and actions are increasingly ineffective.