What healthcare can learn from the tech-first strategy keeping brick-and-mortar retail afloat

Retailers are turning to in-store technology to bring online shoppers back into stores, a trend healthcare would do well to mimic as patients turn from regular primary care appointments to consultations with "Dr. Google" and one-off telehealth visits.

One emblematic example of tech-forward brick-and-mortar retail is that of the self-serve, cashier-less grocery store, The Wall Street Journal reports. Besides providing consumers with a streamlined, all-digital shopping and payment experience, these stores often use analytics technology to track consumers' purchases in order to make recommendations and offer discounts.

"It is taking the personalization and that customization that you would have by shopping online and applying that to brick and mortar," Kurtis Van Horn, co-founder of self-serve store tech startup AWM Smart Shelf, told WSJ.

Other retailers are looking to technology to provide consumers with in-store experiences they cannot find online. In healthcare, for example, this might manifest in healthcare providers using patient portals and social platforms to attract patients to attend learning experiences and events at their facilities.

"When you know what you want, it is easier to buy online," Elie Perez, co-founder and chief revenue officer of Booxi, an online booking software company, told WSJ. "But for the rest, you still have a lot of products that you need help to buy. There are a lot of industries where it is very important for people to connect."

More articles on consumerism:
Data privacy is most important factor in building consumer trust: report
Carilion Clinic is taking cues from retail to open the 'digital front door' for patients
Carilion Clinic partners with VisitPay: 4 things to know

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