Future Retail and where it will go ?

However, when we turn to retail, many brands and retailers pull us in the opposite direction. They invite us to malls, shopping centers and stores where they then ask us to interact with their screens, virtual reality headsets, kiosks or our own mobile devices. In essence, we’re being asked to put down our technology at home only long enough to go to a store to use more technology. It’s to the point that the number of screens in a retail store has become bragging rights for retailers as they seek to technologize their environments. This is a mistake — not because technology shouldn’t be incorporated into stores but because the goal of operating physical stores as a technological experience is fundamentally misguided.

Retailing will become more personalized, collaborative and socially-influenced in the future, according to new research by Planet Retail.

The report, titled The Future of Retail: 10 Trends of Tomorrow and featuring case studies from retailers around the globe, warns that retailers should begin preparing themselves for another few years of significant structural change.

Natalie Berg, Retail Insights Director and author of the report, commented:

“Retailing has undergone seismic shifts over the past five years and we believe that further fundamental changes are just around the corner. By 2020, we predict that shoppers will have to pay for home delivery, traditional points-based loyalty cards will become a thing of the past, pure-play retail will largely cease to exist and checkout-less stores will become a reality.

“A key theme across the 10 future trends is the need for collaboration. Retailers are finally beginning to recognize the benefits of working together both in bid for differentiation and providing a better service for the customer. We expect more retailers will join forces by 2020, primarily through instore concessions or collection points for online orders.”

The 10 Future Trends:

1. Fewer, but more impactful, stores

2. Working together to stand apart

3. Race for the most convenient store experience

4. Personalisation to reach new heights

5. The end of points-based loyalty cards

6. Power of the peer

7. Cracking the final mile

8. Death of pure-play

9. Click & collect

10. From one-click to no-click

Dive Brief:

  • Personalized content has essentially one major benefit — higher response and engagement rates — according to polling of global senior marketers by CMO Council.
  • But there are also side benefits, according to the report, “Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction.” Just fewer than half of respondents said “personalized or enriched content” led to more relevant interaction, and more than 40% said it leads to conversions.
  • And personalized content needn’t be just email or social media-driven, according to research from Adroit Digital, e-Marketer magazine reports.

Dive Insight:

Here we have something of a chicken-and-egg situation — consumers are reading, watching, and using more content, and there’s more content for them to access. The good news for marketers is that personalized content appears to be effective when it comes to all sorts of important measures like engagement, response, and even conversions.

When we are serving back to the consumer the same products that they are interested in or had researched, it provides a reminder and a comfort of convenience of access,” Nurullo Makhmudov, director of online user experience & strategic initiatives at Sears Canada, told eMarketer earlier this year. “Or, it’s an invitation to come back and finalize your purchase. In that sense, it becomes a highly personalized and individualized execution.”

10 predictions for the future of retail in 2016:

1. Focus on remarkable interactions in a ‘zero-sum environment’
2. Drama in the department store market
3. Discounts and off-line experiences
4. New names, new change
5. The mall is about more than just shopping
6. Follow the millennials
7. Speed is the new advantage
8. Forget about the transaction, it’s about the interaction
9. Sears and Kmart face the ‘death knell’
10. Personalization will grow up

Young people who see no separation between the digital and the physical. Their smart phones, wearables and the simulations they have grown up with are as real to them as the physical. Video content or a screen at a store, or an SMS message to them, is not the noisy intrusion that takes away from physical sensory delight it may to us. With the advent of AR-VR and more pervasive hybrid interactions, physical delight of shopping may indeed have a more varied palette and array of flavors.

I’m not saying that brick-and-mortar will ever go extinct, but the digital is merging with the in-store experience, and this is a trend that is going to accelerate.

In a world where almost every aspect of our lives is somehow tethered to technology, experiences that engage our bodies, our senses and our souls are at a premium — Dough Stephens, Retail Prophet

So many of these branding academics and evangelists forget to see the world through the lens of the young, people who grow up with more digital immersion as a default baseline have different standards of what is human, normal and where a separation exists. If I grew up texting, is the smartphone not a part of my self?

At least 30% of Retail stores will go out of business, in the next 10 years. Failure to expand to meet rising rent costs, failure to adapt to retail technology and consumer expectations is a common theme

This is not taking away from the physical retail experience, it’s augmenting and making the consumer experience more seamless, varied and optimized for digital natives. So the future of physical Retail is bright, because technology is being merged with it. Even retail physical stores like a cafe can join a cloud point of sale system and be part of a revolution of data-augmentation in Retail where customers are known and transactions are no longer anonymous.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Max Miroslav’s story.