Digital transformation is a huge topic for discussion at the moment, particularly within the Retail sector. It is having a massive impact of all of our lives everywhere and unfortunately we have begun to see the demise of many high street brands resulting in job losses. The main factor for this is the shift away from in store shopping towards e-commerce.
There will always be a level of loyalty from the older generation that will ensure that our true brick-and mortar brands continue to trade for a while longer, however the selection pressure on retail businesses is changing, and those that fail to adapt certainly face decline and even extinction.
In today’s market, within a minute you can compare prices, research various products, order and pay all on the same day. To make it even easier you are able to do this on the go via smartphone. This shift in style of purchasing is why brick-and-mortar stores must update their business models if they are to survive.
Trying to predict what consumers will do and what they want is reliant on data and analysts. I am sure every year we all read about ‘ Where Retail is heading’ and hold our own opinions. A few key areas where I do believe that all retailers need to invest is instore Experiences and Personalisation.
Rather than customers just shopping for goods and leaving with them, retail stores need to offer a place where customers can have more social experiences.
A survey for Deloitte said, "Retailers need to ensure that their stores remain relevant and are places that consumers want to keep coming back to. Experience is more important than ever, and retailers' stores need to be more than just places to transact."
Samsung said that “New Technologies like beacons, Mobile apps and new POS systems will allow retailers to discover more about their customers, which in turn will facilitate more personal customer experiences”.
More advanced retailers are already trying to expand their focus away from limited personalisation efforts such as product recommendations in an attempt to improve attention to a broader marketing stream.
All in all the future of retail is in our hands.