We live in an extraordinary time. Technology is improving faster than ever and the rate of advancement is only increasing. The bulk of that progress is on the internet and a huge portion of the internet continues to focus on commerce and socializing. However, something is amiss—the very technologies that are meant to improve our lives seem to be the very ones hindering them.
Now, I’m not going to try and convince the younger generations that spending 5 hours and 46 minutes a day online or texting 5 times more often than we make phone calls, does not bring you closer to your friends and loved ones. I’ll leave that to J.K. Simmons. I’m a somewhat introverted person, so I enjoy the peace and quiet as everyone taps away.
What I am going to talk about is money. All businesses, even the ones run by this latest generation, want to make more money. You may not realize, that 93.6% of all purchases are still made in brick-and-mortar stores. Even if we look at millennials alone, they make 75% of their purchases in actual stores. So while the latest websites offer amazingly fast shipping, easy returns, great discounts, amazing search engines, and some of the most advanced digital marketing techniques to help guide our interest, the brick-and-mortar stores are left by the wayside.
My company, Purple Cloud, is a new technology that will help brick-and-mortar stores. I could write for hours about iBeacons, Geofencing, and in-store analytics, but with my inaugural blog post, I want to focus on the heart of the issue. People do most of their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, and they do so because they are social beings and they want that human touch.
Think back to the idealized memory (probably from before you were born) when folks would go to their local store, be welcomed by name and were actually provided with quality service. Today every store wants to automate their website, their phone system, and their checkout process. Companies are missing the point of why customers came to their store in the first place.
So, if you want to make more money, provide that human touch. If you don’t believe me, just look at the highest revenue per square foot store in the world—their stores are filled with actual human beings, geniuses in fact, looking to engage with you.