The shift to digital has become a trend affecting every industry imaginable. The transformation is still in its infancy, though, as companies experiment with different ways to utilize everything that digital spaces have to offer.
Some companies, like Nordstrom, have proven successful at marrying traditional and digital shopping experiences for customers, which has led to market-beating returns for both the companies and their investors.
Meanwhile, retailers like Best Buy have struggled the last few years to stay afloat, with little more than an online store to offer shoppers. See what I mean?
Companies who embrace digital, rather than shun it, have a shot at making great long-term investments. Take a look at these three companies that are finding new ways to successfully integrate digital.
1. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (Nasdaq: RRGB ) recently launched Burger Hub -- a social-media website for Red Robin burgers that allows customers to upload their own pictures and videos of the food and experiences they're having at the restaurant. Red Robin then links these to the online menu. It's kind of like an updated version of user reviews, which could prove to be really innovative and useful for the restaurant industry as a whole.
2. Target (NYSE: TGT ) has recently partnered with Shopkick to offer shoppers incentives for shopping in store. Shopkick is a free app that offers points for things like entering the store and scanning items. Points can then be redeemed for gift cards or charitable donations. Target is now the largest retailer to partner with Shopkick, which could give it an advantage in this rocky retail climate.
3. Safeway (NYSE: SWY ) launched its own money-saving app earlier this month. The app, called "Just for U," stores your Safeway Club Card information along with featured ads, in-store and manufacturer coupons, shopping lists, and even a few individualized coupons based on your shopping history. Safeway has virtually redefined the word "convenient."
You can't pick great stocks based solely on whether or not they're keeping up with the trends, but it can nonetheless be a sign of a healthy company. To keep tabs on any of the companies above, just click the appropriate link below and add them to your watchlist: