In life and time, change is the only constant…
We’ve read lately that some retail companies are falling like dominoes or closing shop. In no specific order I can recall: Mexx, Bikini Village, Target, Sony, Jacob, Smart Set, Parasuco and Radio Shack in the US. Similarly, we see more and more available retail space or completely abandoned shopping plazas that are like ghost towns. Like a city after an industry crash and heading into recession… Scary? Right!
Maybe the business model just became obsolete!!! Some still see the opportunity of the future by doing the same thing they did in the past focusing on volume, distribution, price, promotion, product and People (last)?? Furthermore, commercial developers are actually planning out new projects elsewhere in the city, as if traditional retail still works based on traditional premises based exclusively on location, location, location and services…
On the flip side, we know that a new “creative class” is creating incredibly successful stories that are revolutionizing the way we shop. These companies are growing and captivating shoppers and audiences. Companies like: Frank & Oak, Ssense and Jack Threads. A new breed of commercial and innovative channels such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter and even Pintrest e-comm capability, plus the ususal e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba. Other names come to mind, but for the sake of making the point, these will do.
These companies are on the bleeding edge of innovation and define the meaning of commerce driven initiatives for this generation.
Retail of the future? Most likely!
The middle ground:
Where some traditional retailers manage to succeed and the new players excel…. Welcome to the Shopper experience economy. Yes, you can design it, plan it and you can craft it like a customer journey exercise.
Yet, with the array of relevant touch-points of our time, digital goes beyond a device or a gimmicky interface.
Please, don’t go digital for the sake of being cool and current, don’t do social if you think it's free advertising. It's not that you might be doing it wrong, specially when so few get it right. You can only do it better. First and foremost, STOP! This is not a sprint, even though you have to play catch-up, but do hold-your-horses.
Develop a shopper experience strategy for your banner, brand or company…. Define and understand your NEW customer: What he does, how he does it and how he behaves…
This is the epicenter, where the experience economy meets the shopper experience.
After that, you are in a position to start TESTING technology for retail in function of enhancing the shopper experience.