I recently presented to a forum of retailers on the future of retail and asked them all a simple question: What is the biggest opportunity your organisation faces when it comes to the digital economy? Here is what they had to say and how I think these opportunities could be realised.

Opportunity 1: Scalability and new revenue streams

The first major opportunity that retailers identified is the ability to scale, reaching more markets and new customers through new channels, ultimately leading to more sales and greater revenue streams in the future.

Retailer comments
Being able to expand retail reach
Being able to sell and interact with more sales channels

Soon, you will be able to check your bank balance or transfer money through Facebook Messenger and Twitter as banks experiment with chatbots. Companies like Ikea have used customer service chatbots for close to a decade. But their use in financial services represents a new tension — do we want convenience or a feeling of security from our banks?

Research shows that when it comes to online banking, customers are prepared to trade security for convenience. But when customers think there is a threat to their security, this feeling reverses.

Researchers at QUT recently found that a sense of insecurity…

Self-checkouts in supermarkets are increasing as businesses battle to reduce costs and increase service efficiency. But looking at the numbers, it isn’t clear that self-service is an easy win for businesses.

Self-checkouts aren’t necessarily faster than other checkouts and don’t result in lower staff numbers. And there are indirect costs such as theft, reduced customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Worldwide, self-checkout terminals are projected to increase from 191,000 in 2013 to 325,000 by 2019. A survey of multiple countries found 90% of respondents had used self-checkouts, with Australia and Italy leading the way.

Employment in the Australian supermarket and grocery industry…

Consumer deviance — theft, fraud, aggression — is a significant issue for managers and to date, the common ways of deterring these negative behaviours are to say “it’s wrong, don’t do it” or to say “you will be caught and punished”. But these hard stick approaches do not seem to be working as we continue to observe deviant consumer behaviour in the marketplace.

In our research, published in the Journal of Marketing Management, we explore why these deterrence strategies might not be working as well as they should.

Strategy 1: ‘It’s wrong, don’t do it’

For this deterrence strategy to work it assumes that everybody agrees the…

Paula Dootson

Research Fellow in the PwC Chair in Digital Economy at QUT. Views are mine.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store