Scroll down your social media feed, and you’ll find post after post advertising Everlane, Warby Parker, Casper, and other direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies. Despite their millennial-focused branding and digital-first strategy, the DTC business model is an old one. In fact, each of these companies follows a playbook similar to the one that made Sears, with its pioneering catalog, a household name in 1887: cut out the middle-man retailer to drive down costs and increase sales.
While skeptics predicted that the new wave of DTCs would mean the end of in-store shopping and the death of commercial centers, many customers rejoiced openly at the prospect of never having to step foot into another store again. Michael Preysman, the CEO of Everlane, was so confident in this new form of digital-only commerce that he promised the New York Times that he would “shut the company down before we go to physical retail.” Today there are eight Everlane stores, 148 Warby Parker locations, and 24 Amazon Books brick-and-mortars in the United States. In the next five years, it’s estimated that digitally native brands are predicted to open 850 brick-and-mortar stores. Thanks to consumer demand, the shopping center lives another day.
Preysman, once an online-only evangelist, attributes consumer behavior as the primary reason why Everlane has reversed course and is now investing big in brick-and-mortar stores. In-store shopping is still the preferred retail channel for 82% of millennials, even those who also engage in online shopping. However, the good news for retailers who have spent millions of dollars on establishing a robust digital presence is that although the shopping journey may end at a retail location, it increasingly begins online. About 81% of shoppers do online research before committing to a purchase. In order to thrive in this new omnichannel consumer world where customers flip between online and offline during their purchasing journey, it’s critical to invest in new technology, such as Prove’s QR Pre-fill™, that makes digital onboarding a breeze.
With QR Pre-fill, one plus one really is greater than two. By combining the already popular QR code with Prove’s cutting-edge Pre-fill technology, which auto-populates forms using verified data, QR Pre-Fill is revolutionizing the process of onboarding.
The QR Code has emerged as a powerful portal between the material and the digital spheres and is fast becoming a retailer’s best friend. At its core, the QR code functions as a touch-free portal that transports consumers from the real world to the virtual world. Consumers simply scan the ubiquitous black-and-white code on their smartphones to access designated web pages. Think of it as the ultimate digital entry point for your business: easy for consumers to access and inexpensive for businesses to distribute widely—consumers can scan QR codes from print ads, yellow pages, marketing flyers, or subway billboards.
After accessing the designated webpage via a secure and custom QR Code, the onboarding form is auto-filled on their mobile phone, a task that is generally a pain point for consumers and a big driver of customer abandonment. However, Prove’s QR Pre-fill solves this problem by allowing consumers to confirm their personal data, which has been retrieved from authoritative sources, rather than fill out the form from scratch. Not only is the process frictionless, but the concurrent identity verification also thwarts identity fraud and improves pass rates. For retailers eager to onboard customers in an omnichannel consumer environment, QR Pre-fill is a must.
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