Retailers are doing great. Online.

With the rise of eCommerce, retailers rejoiced at the multitude of opportunities this shopping revolution escorted. With subscriptions services, fast shipping, and endless product selection, shopping online has become the new normal. Alongside this transformation, retailers found themselves longing for a generation of customers that is well-educated on the products they desire and even more so, on what they represent. In this fashion, companies became brands and brands became a lifestyle. This has greatly impacted the way companies present themselves, looking towards their customers’ values for inspiration rather than shifting product trends. It became a game of touching people’s emotions in addition to their desires and taking inspiration from their habits rather than their digressions.

The good news is that this approach to consumerism has somewhat forced retailers to explore non-traditional ways of engaging customers — especially when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores. Although online is easy to win consumers, retailers are aware of which experience matters most and as such will build a loyal customer base that vouches for their brand. With brick-and-mortar, it’s all about the physical experience. This somewhat transcends into the online experience by providing “instagrammable” moments which act as the best form of advertising for the brand. Specifically, millennials are known to prefer experiences over products and creating stores willing to fulfill that need has been the ultimate strategy required by retailers to stay relevant in an ever-so-crowded market. With over 3,800 stores in the U.S. expected to shut down by 2020, retailers are struggling for ways to innovate their customer experience beyond the product itself. This is why experiential shopping has become a survival trick for brick-and-mortar retailers.

Some of the ways companies have innovated their spaces are through pop-up features in their stores, providing experiential elements that have little to do with what is actually being sold but provides a feeling of exclusivity and scarcity. Others, ironically, use augmented reality to lure customers within their four-walls. Millions are being spent trying to elevate the store experience, making it impossible for smaller retailers to stay relevant but the return on investment is never guaranteed. Retailers know they need to innovate to attract the younger generation. Because of this, they spend millions in advertising, enhancing in-store experiences, and creating websites that deliver a true state-of-the-art engagement. Yet there is one aspect that retailers often overlook when it comes to innovation, the loyalty cards, and rewards.

One sees an online ad for a desirable product, instantly shop for it, and decide to pick it up the next day at an experiential store. Yet when it comes to rewards, things have not changed one bit. Rewards are still considered discounts, miles, points that expire too soon and restricts consumers on how they can use them. Bits proposes an alternative, a new way for retailers to engage with customers and reward them. A way that, sure enough, will make them come back for more.

Bits reward consumers with Bits of Stock™ — giving you a new way to experience brand engagement and today, we’ve released our beta app! Sign up below to experience brand engagement and investing in a unique way.