Retail Sales Methods are Transitioning from Old to New School

Old school retail chain (NYSE:XRT) methods are proving less and less effective these days. The retail maxim of ‘get shoppers in the door, then sell them stuff they didn’t plan on buying’ is giving way to newer methods based on the discovery that Web-savvy consumers often already know what they plan to buy. Bill Martin, Chief Executive Officer of ShopperTrak, suggests that consumers can simply plan, pick up, and leave with what they want to purchase.

To address the changing market place that now has “surgical shoppers” rather than mission shoppers, companies such as Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN) equipped employees with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads to help customers assemble virtual outfits. Jordan’s Furniture, a New England chain owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRKA), used 3-D movies, ice cream parlors, laser shows, and trapeze lessons to boost traffic.

“’Brookstone Inc., the closely held electronics chain, couldn’t add Wi-Fi and iPads to its 300 stores fast enough,’ said CEO Ron Boire. Next he wants hand-held checkout devices to emulate the Web’s simplicity,’” according to Bloomberg.

The future of shopping is here, and those that don’t adjust will get left behind.