Reinventing Traditional Shopping
Abstract: Digitalization has impacted online retailing heavily, however traditional stores have not changed as much in comparison. Earlier studies have not only suggested how stores could reinvent themselves, but also indicated that brands could have great advantages by doing so. Furthermore, the customer experience and it’s reinforced importance within brick and mortar has been highlighted. It has also been established that the customer experience could be strengthen by implementing advanced technology. Due to the lack of research within the subject and a mainly theoretical discussion about how and why stores implement advanced technology in store, this study aims to investigate from more practical point of view how and why companies implement advanced technology. This study has a qualitative method, by conducting a total of 7 interviews. Five interviews were conducted with employees within different retailing companies implementing advanced technology in store; BMW, Clas Ohlson, Volvo Car Company, Volkswagen and Synsam Group. To continue, two complementary interviews from a rather general market perspective were conducted; one with AMF Fastigheter on their new project The Lobby focusing on the development of the future store and one with Curiat (NZ) Limited a subject specialist on Augmented Reality, which was one of the most common technologies in this study. The study identifies several factors correlating to how and why brands reinvent their physical stores through advanced technologies. In order to implement the technology successfully, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented reality and Interactive Digital Signage, traditional retailers have to modify their business models and their operational skills within the organization. One main motivation as for why traditional retailers implement advanced technology is a changed consumer behavior and market. This puts a new kind of pressure on traditional retailers and stresses the importance of the customer experience. The customer experience and relationships can be strengthened by implementing advanced technology and are two important factors as to why retailers utilize advanced technology in store. Traditional retailers also use the implemented advanced technology as a marketing tool, in order to market themselves as innovative and meet the new market. In addition to this, there has been a change in communication between customer and store. Retailers can use the advanced technology in order to not only interact in a new way with their customers, but also communicate through various of their channels. This creates a smoother and more seamless experience for the customer, and connect offline with online.
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