According to a CNBC Report, online mattress company Casper Sleep filed regulatory paperwork Friday to make the company public. Casper Sleep will be listed on New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “CSPR.” Casper stated that it intends to use the proceeds for expansion. Casper listed a stock offer of $100 million as a placeholder. However, that number will likely change depending on investor demand.
Total Retail’s View: Casper changed the way mattresses were sold online in 2014. Casper invented a mattress that can be folded into a small box and stuffed into a car’s trunk. Casper’s online sales have expanded to include 60 brick-and mortar stores and 18 retail partners like Target and Amazon.com. Casper has expanded its product range to include pillows, sheets, and dog beds. Casper plans to open more than 200 stores across North America, and will also launch new products and services, including digital apps, meditation, programming, and counseling.
Casper is losing money despite all of that. According to the SEC’s stock registration statement, Casper reported a loss of $92.1 million and $73.4 million for 2018. Casper, however, stated that it had a lot of room for growth and estimated that the global sleep industry was $432 billion.
What retailers get wrong about millennials
It is a myth that millennials will be the retail apocalypse’s harbinger. Accenture has released new data that shows 82% of millennials prefer brick-and-mortar shopping. It is clear that millennials don’t just prefer online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores. Although millennials shop differently and have differing expectations, they are a growing and important audience. Retailers, the question is: How can you improve your in-store experience so that this important demographic can be served?
Mobile is key to deeper in-person engagement
Consumers’ expectations of cross-channel shopping have reached a tipping point. A recent Yes Marketing study found that more consumers (57 percent) reported using the retailer’s mobile app in-store. The in-store experience should be personalized. However, it should also be mobile-centric. This means that consumers can shop on their smartphones while browsing the aisles. Special app features like mobile checkout, wayfinding and augmented reality (AR) can help retailers engage customers. Walmart’s AR scanner allows you to scan across shelves and retrieve pricing information and customer ratings underneath the products.
This approach relies on Wi-Fi connectivity being available. It is difficult for consumers to get credit card rewards, coupons, and comparison data in brick-and-mortar shops, which makes it difficult to shop online. Wi-Fi bridges this gap and provides a wealth of data. Once a customer is connected to the network, retailers can use the data of the shopper to offer personalized deals, track store traffic patterns and price products based upon customer comparisons.
A Space with a Twist: An inviting space
The distance between digital and physical retail has shrunk over the last few years. Retailers now recognize the importance of offering a seamless shopping experience. This approach is based on combining the data-driven online experience with the personal, in-store shopping experience. The key to creating an interactive, integrated and enhanced shopping experience is not just building a mobile app. There are other components to creating an interactive, enhanced and integrated shopping experience. These include digital shelves that allow electronic shelf-labeling. AR/virtual Reality (VR) technology is used in fitting rooms, which allows consumers to try on products virtually. And designing “Instagrammable showrooms” that spread the brand’s branding across social networks.
Nordstrom is a pioneer in reimagining the experience of shopping in-store. They have unique services that rival e-commerce. Nordstrom Local concept stores are unified retail commerce-focused concept stores that don’t sell product. Nordstrom Local stores serve as hubs for online orders, alterations and tailoring, and are a great place to shop for styling products. This is part Nordstrom’s dual-pronged strategy of pairing its flagship stores with local shops in its top 10 markets. This smart approach allows Nordstrom to offer both experiential shopping, such as pop-ups or collaborations in its flagship stores, as well as seamless “service station” which cater to online shoppers through its Local stores.
Personalization at the Next Level
Data is a key ingredient to many retailers’ success. It is difficult to know how to use it effectively. Retailers must use a variety of analytics to transform in-store shopping behavior into memorable experiences. While smart retail technology offers endless opportunities for data collection, it is not enough to provide real-time customer insights. To understand customers’ preferences, retailers must use the in-store wireless network to analyze data.
They must also use analytics to provide location-based services, RFID, and electronic shelf-labeling that are relevant to consumers’ needs. Sephora’s artificially intelligent digital mirror is a great example of how data can be used to create a personalized, unified experience across channels. Wildbytes was commissioned to create a digital mirror that uses AI for hyperpersonalized recommendations and shopping experiences. The mirror analyzes the data of the shoppers looking in it and provides actionable insights that help to suggest makeup, skincare, and fragrance products that are most suitable for the customer’s needs.
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Modern shoppers expect more from retailers than just a physical space where they can buy products. The modern shopper expects retailers to anticipate their needs, provide tailored assistance, and offer seamless, secure, end-to-end experiences. From the moment customers enter the store to the time they leave, the in-store experience should be interactive. To provide such a service, retailers must capture customer data in real-time to improve the customer experience.
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