Old School vs. New School: Brick-and-Mortar Edition

by Ryan Schradin

Whether you’re a traditional, brick-and-mortar purist or a hyper-progressive, AI-adopting futurist, retailers of all kinds know that things are shaking up in the industry. As a result, many are trying out different approaches to see what suits their target markets best in this fast-paced, quickly evolving time.

To gain a better understanding of those different approaches, this week RTI is taking a look at some old school vs. new school approaches being employed by retailers to better serve their customers. Here are some of the top stories in the industry showcasing exactly how retailers are mixing it up:

Adidas Goes Offline for Influencer Campaign

Adidas Originals threw it way back with their exclusive use of billboards (gasp!) in their latest influencer marketing campaign around their new P.O.D. shoe launch. The campaign featured eight billboards in New York City and eight in Los Angeles, all with different, personalized messages addressing social media influencers by their Instagram handles and a call to action for them to visit their local Adidas store for their pair of shoes.


Image originally found on Retail Dive

According to Retail Dive’s Daphne Howland, “…While social media has been the go-to venue for brands’ influencer campaigns, which rely on somewhat organic messaging from celebrities to blast whatever it is they’re marketing, Adidas Originals decided to launch its latest such effort with this throwback to painted billboards and buildings, a unique approach to driving social conversation.”

Thus far, the campaign has been successful and the company plans to implement similar approaches in the future.

Read the whole story here.

Brick-and-Mortar Retail’s Most Important Renovation: The Workforce

Marcie Merriman, executive director in the Americas Advisory practice at Ernst & Young LLP, recently penned an article for Retail Dive that called on retailers to look internally for the key to success: their employees. Specifically, she noted that outdoor retailer REI is particularly adept at keeping its employees happy, fulfilled, and enthusiastic about their work by footing the bill for things like field trips and supplemental training and paying its employees a living wage.

Merriman wrote, “Operators of physical retail outlets might want to take notes on what REI is doing and apply its lessons to their own stores. Rather than devoting all their time and resources to building out their online capabilities and squeezing out costs, they might consider redirecting some of their focus to improving the physical retail experience for their customers and associates.”

Going back to basics and really looking inwardly for company success is something every retailer needs to consider, especially those with a brick-and-mortar model. Customers are looking for a specific experience when they are shopping in stores, one that normally centers on superior customer service and knowledgeable employees. That experience is achievable when you equip employees with the tools and attitude to accomplish it.

Read the whole story here.

Forget Deliveries—This Firm Wants to Bring a Grocery Store to Your Driveway

Swiveling to futuristic retail approaches that are causing a stir and changing consumer expectations as I type, Robomart is bring the grocery store experience to the road. According to a recent article by Timothy Lee of Ars Technica, Robomart is leveraging the rising trend of autonomous vehicles and applying it to the quickly evolving grocery industry.

“Robomart’s plan is to effectively send the entire produce aisle to the customer’s driveway,” Lee wrote. “Then the customer walks outside, selects the items she wants, and Robomart automatically charges the credit card she has on file.”

What’s cooler than being able to actually shop for groceries yourself from your own curb? You get the ability to pick the produce you want without risking something tragic happening in the last mile, you don’t have to methodically think out your grocery list before placing your order. Your store literally just comes to you and you shop as you normally would. That’s innovative thinking.

Read the whole story here.

News Flash: Location Matters for Retailers and the Proof is in the Numbers

The RTI team recently spoke with Pitney Bowes about the importance of location in retail and they had a few interesting data points to share. Brick-and-mortar retailers, listen up.

Despite what many might think, brick-and-mortar retail is alive and well. In fact, shoppers make an average of 7.5 purchases at a physical store per month and 20 percent of consumers buy something after browsing in a physical store (as opposed to only five percent of online shoppers browsing).

Of course, the state of the store itself is important to the customer, but that store’s location could be the difference between success and failure to a retailer. The ability to leverage data and shopping trends to find the perfect placement for your store is just another excellent use of data analytics in the retail world. It perfectly exemplifies the use of a modern technique to streamline and improve an old (but very necessary) process in retail: finding the right spot.

Read the whole story here.