Change is the only constant. And this is most true for the retail segment. Here yesterday’s amazing is today’s expected, and the consumer is ever demanding more. This is perhaps the most important thing that retailers should keep in mind, according to Dana Telsey, CEO and Chief Research Officer at Telsey Advisory Group. Telsey presented an overview of the transforming retail segment during NetSuite’s recent webinar, Revolutionizing Retail. And in that presentation, they pointed out the key trends affecting the industry and the five top things that are sure to transform the future of retail.

Pointer #1: Experiential retailing

The millennial consumer demands experience – both actual and virtual. They must be able to touch and feel. And they are choosy too. According to Telsey’s research, the millennials, across demographics, are not impulsive spenders. They practise discretionary spending, are tech savvy, and have to have convenience of digital interaction. The retail industry is living up to this expectation with a slew of attractions in store like virtual fitting rooms to yoga.

Pointer #2: The Online Store

Online stores are in. The sudden growth and spread on online store is here to stay. E-commerce and mobile commerce dominate the market share. Purchasing online and through mobile will continue to dominate the buying experience in future too.

Pointer #3: Streamlined Omni channels

The expectation of the consumer is changing as fast as the technology involved. The priorities are changing and so is the shopping behaviour. Retail segment has been trying to keep pace with these patterns. In management of change, adaptation is just one of the things you require. With better technology and solutions in place, innovation is another key factor that brings in a better experience with streamline technology for omnichannel.

Pointer #4: Uncertainty today, opportunity tomorrow

As the retail landscape evolves with time, certain sectors are facing slump while some new sectors are striking rich. This, according to Telsey, is normal and part of the cycle. The way to get around the decline lies in adapting and modifying themselves to the new environment. Reinvent, remodel, and remerchandise – is the mantra. Even the darkest of clouds have silver lining. So, dig in the heels, and give it your best and reinvent.

Pointer #5: Retail Space still prime

The slowdown or downturn may result in ‘shut shop’ for some. But the retail space always finds new buyers who want to begin new businesses. They move into the space left by old businesses, refurbish and set shop for their new ventures. The retail space shift. Though some blame online

stores for slack business, the truth is that the consumer still likes the in store experience. The promise of a new and varies experience always pulls in the consumer.

Reading these transformative pointers, what will the future of retail look like?

Personalization, localization and customization.

The future will be focussed on three key factors, namely Personalization, localization and customization. Targeted ads and promotions don’t drive in customers. The approach has changed to include customized communication and personalized experiences to influence purchasing. However, what attracts one may not attract another. The innovative thinking for better reach into the target market segment is the key. Also, retailers need to fully deliver on the omnichannel experience. If convenience is a millennial favourite, so is the efficient technology part for payments. Besides these, one has to remember that integrated systems and immediate gratification will only continue to dominate as speed and ease of use become the major buying influencers.

Global Reach

The world is now but a small village. Geographical distance, language barriers and logistic hurdles don’t matter anymore. The global reach often helps brands to grow big at a never before pace. Technology is making things easier with ease of payments.

Store to customer

All said, the most important driver will still be the store experience. While personalization of the buying experience and convenience of shopping will be welcomed, the retailers will need to truly focus on what their brand means to consumers and how best they can serve their customers with a superlative experience.

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