What is the future of retail?
7 July 2020
Author: Linzi McGuire
It seems to be the question on everyone’s lips.
“When will the shops reopen? What will they look like and how will they have changed? How will the shopping experience in general shift and are there any consequences of this? Has online shopping overtaken shopping in person?”
It seems that at some point between March - June 2020, for the first time in recorded history, almost every wheel, cog and gear in the global retail industry ground to a virtual halt. So how do we restart it, and fast?
Join us throughout July where we’ll be examining retail in the economic aftershock. We’ll explore how consumers set the direction, how retail outlets respond to this demand and how brands can partner with retailers to deliver great experiences, and support consumers directly in brand new ways. These 3 key stakeholders are involved in a cycle of change, each one impacted by the other.
What you can expect in our July retail series:
Week 1: Consumers
Consumer behaviour is changing, and so is shopping. But which one is influencing the other? And how will these changes set the pace for retail transformation in the second half of 2020 and beyond? We’ll take a dip into what preferences are driving change in retail, including which ones are passing fads and which ones are here to stay, and need to build a future retail strategy for outlets, whether that’s in ecommerce or bricks and mortar.
Week 2: Retailers
Retail is juggling a whole host of uncertainties, from restrictions in store, to new preferred shopping times and habits, to the demand for online delivery vs shopping in store. And that’s without mentioning those who haven’t survived. We’ll explore how retailers, both independent and chains, may respond to the rules set out by the new consumer, and what tools they can use to drive efficiency alongside change when it comes to attraction, engagement and staffing models.
Week 3: Brands
We think that if done right, brands can become the glue that holds consumers and retailers together. Brands have a unique opportunity to partner with their retail counterparts and influence the shopping process and experience. They can work in harmony to provide the ultimate blend of people solutions, brand engagement and digital connections to keep shoppers in a store, or on an app or website for longer. There is also an opportunity to go it alone, direct to the consumer, to offer personalised services and experiences on a level never seen before.
As we exit lockdown, quick decisions need to be made across industries, channels and geographies to keep the economy moving. Businesses and brands alike can’t afford to attempt to ride out the storm or wait for the industry critic to publish their latest novel of hints and tips to success before building their strategy (especially when some are already available for pre order with a May 2021 date!) They need to learn from the trends that are apparent now.
It’s true that some sectors have been more resilient than others, or have had greater exposure to consumers as supply and demand has shifted these past few months. So, who will come out on top and who will be the first to break the mould of old, and test something new as we look towards an accelerated period of transformation, reaching reimagined retail of the future?