The Endless Aisle…Omnichannel…Virtual Merchandising…Unified Commerce…10 years ago, these were not common retail terms. Truly, even five years ago you’d have been hard-pressed to find these terms used very often. But about three years ago, they began to make some pretty serious headway into the retail industry and now, while they aren’t something most consumers would recognize, they have at this point become part of the retail vernacular.
Although there are some differences between the terms, all four concepts describe a type of retail strategy that fuses the in-store, brick-and-mortar shopping experience with e-commerce using either personal mobile devices, or in-store kiosks. This in turn creates a seamless customer experience where the concept of “out of stock,” “special order” or “limited inventory” are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Let’s first take a look at The Endless Aisle, using the example of Home Depot, which has had one of the best and most successful implementations of this type of program. The central issue here was that as big as HD stores are, they still only have a limited amount of space for each department, and appliances in particular take up a massive amount of room, compared to say, duct tape. But appliances are also a high-ticket item, so selling one $2500 refrigerator is a much bigger win than selling $50 worth of nails.
So how does a successful big-box retailer maximize the space they have in order to cram additional models onto the floor? That’s easy; they don’t. At least, not if you’re Home Depot. Instead, they created a virtual appliance store online (called the “Appliance Finder”), directly accessible in-store by customers, via the use of interactive, in-store kiosks. This ability to showcase the 95% of models they can’t physically fit into a store in a beautiful online space ultimately resulted in a 10%+ uptick in sales.
Want to know what’s next for retail? Come back next week to read our blog where we’ll continue to cover this ever-evolving topic. Already convinced that Endless Aisle kiosk integration is right for your business? RedyRef’s experienced professionals are here to help. With a wide range of fully-integrated manufacturing solutions available, we offer a one-stop solution for tablet kiosks from design to deployment, making it easy for companies of all sizes to take advantage of the latest and best interactive kiosk technology. Give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.