Battling powerhouse Internet retailers like Amazon.com and smartphone apps that allow consumers to shop from virtually anywhere, the retail industry has spent the past few years trying to imagine the future of the brick-and-mortar store.
A new research study released by Deloitte, “The Next Evolution: Store 3.0,” promises that traditional stores will not disappear from the landscape, but advises retail executives to start thinking about how to best integrate the various sales channels now available to shoppers.
The study, based on surveys of 39 retail executives, finds than 85 percent of respondents believe that in five years’ time brick-and-mortar stores will still be around, but their primary purpose will shift from shopping to brand promotion.
The percentage of sales closed at physical stores versus alternative sales channels will drop to 76 percent from 91 percent today. That means that to provide what customers will be looking for in the brick-and-mortar stores of the future—a sensory brand experience—retailers will have to provide knowledgeable and helpful sales staff, cut down on store footprints and overall store portfolios and enable shoppers to use other sales channels within the stores.