Changes Underway In North American Retailing

Consumers & Shoppers Technology & Store Experiences Retailing
  • Personalization - Expectations: The standards for quality of customer experience will increasing be set online.  Rising generations of consumers will arrive in-store expecting everything to adapt to their personal history, wants, needs, preferences, etc., or will conclude that the brand is irrelevant to them
  • Channel Affinity: Individual consumers will increasingly present to and access retailers in multiple channels in every market, segment, category, and format. Sticky affinities will persist for as long as the experience capabilities of a retailer's channels remain near relative-par
  • Loyalty: Absent compelling reasons to purchase in-store, do-it-yourselfers will increasingly choose price and devolve the intimacy of relationships left insufficiently attended
  • Share of Spend & Switching: In assisted sales segments, consumers will highen their awareness of relative pricing, service and delivered value; dispelling perceptions of disrespect (e.g., from promotional targeting of new customers) and substantiating the value of special relationships will take on still greater importance in retention marketing
  • Mobile:  Smartphone apps for shoppers will not live-up to the hype given to bricks-and-mortar retailers.  Retailers will develop mobile architectures and strategies to let all consumer phones participate in business-critical applications
  • Personalization - Analytics: Data warehouses and models will become less descriptive and more predictive.  Moving beyond "buyers of this also bought that" will help employees perform better and shoppers learn more and faster
  • Information-rich Employees:  Retooling Associates and store management will continue as in-store, back office, and headquarter systems move from financial metrics to include more real-time operational data
  • Ecosystems:  n-Tier systems architectures will selectively incorporate third-party nework services and specialized-value processing, as components in mission-critical applications
  • Innovation:  Retailers to more rapidly transition shopping innovations out of experimentation phase and into mainstream operations in their stores
  • Channel Services:  The separation between bricks-and-mortar stores and online stores will break down further as retailers perfect omni-channel strategies to replace multi-channel approaches to servicing customers
  • Managing Associates:  Management will train some Associates out of a department-dedicated zone defense, preferring instead to dispatch them to arising opportuntities to assist individual shoppers (i.e., "man-on-man")
  • Presence-Awareness:  Every in-store fixture, sign, and human resource will start migrating toward being more automatically adaptive to the presence of individual shoppers
  • Personalization - Discriminate To Differentiate:  Everything from promotional offers, to amount of time from sales Associates and even the kind of greeting shoppers receive, when entering a store, will become increasing personalized based the stage and value of the customer relationship in the retailer's eyes
  • eCompetition:  Payment processors will assist online retailer use of microsegment targeting.  Store retailers will embrace the change from segment-based to personalized marketing
  • Cardless:  Loyalty programs will go cardless in-store as well as online as who the shopper is becomes more important to quality of experience than the cards they carry