8 Febbraio 2019

The future of stores

The rise in digital payments is not only changing consumer habits but also altering premises around us.

In recent times, there has been talk about the idea that ATM machines are becoming now something almost outdated, therefore destined to change and maybe one day even be forgotten. This is all due to newly born start-ups, which nowadays operate as banking institutions bypassing the need for branches and intermediaries.

Something similar might happen to stores in which great changes are taking place. The reason for that is clearly the success Ecommerce has had in recent years, along with the development of new ways of interacting with products and of course new methods of payment. Consumers do not feel the need to visit stores in order to find something interesting to purchase, mainly because of the endless shop window that the internet offers. The point of sale, now deprived of its meaning has to find a completely new identity.

Clothing stores are trying to emphasize their role as experiential spaces, a place where consumers can experience the products directly, something impossible when sitting in front of a computer or browsing mobile apps.

During the last Digital Innovation in Retail Observatory conference, promoted by Milan’s Politecnico School of Management, Emiliano Bellini Scientific Director of the Observatory explained that retailers are moving in different directions in order to innovate and enhance customer experience in stores: “From visiting to staying, from wasting time to valuing it, from fiction to prime time” said Bellini.

The arrival of digital payments and new technologies is definitely changing the setting of stores as we know them, adding value to products, switching their design, extending their physical boundaries to help consumers live deeper and more exciting experiences.