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The Future of Retail

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5 key trends that will transform the marketplace

It’s no doubt that traditional walls of retail are merging into the ‘phygital’ world of consumerism. Digital, social and communications technologies have transformed our retail world as everyone knows and will continue to do so. While many retailers have raced to market with the latest innovations in technology for their customers, many have overlooked the most effective and simple ways to connect with their customers needs.

Who is the Hyper-Connected customer?

The hyper-connected customer is tech-savvy, aware, synchronized, socially influenced and ready to spend. They are the millennials or more commonly know as Gen-Y. Gen-Y is born between 1981-2000 and currently make up more than 50% of the worlds population. Their digital birth-right is a life of technological connectivity and reliance on social influence when it comes to purchasing. According to Adweek, 66% ask for friend’s advice, 59% ask their significant other, 37% look to mum and dad for money and 93% have purchased products after hearing about it from family and friends. [ Source: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/here-everything-you-need-know-about-millennial-consumer-159139]

This major shift in how the hyper-connected customer is shopping, will ultimately affect the future of retailers when building confidence, loyalty and conversations with their target market.

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Aimee Song – Fashion Blogger

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5 KEY RETAIL TRENDS

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1. Real-Time Rewards: The emerging trend of in-store, real-time rewards will drive the Gen-Y shopper into stores to make purchases their purchases and gain on the spot bargains. Imagine tapping onto products using your mobile phone and seeing a discount in real-time. Then tap onto another product and see a bigger discount… The more you tap, the more the accumulated savings you make. Bargain hunters by nature, the millennial shopper will spend time driving to a mall or shopping centre for a best fit and then make their purchase online using their discount vouchers.

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The new product development team at Future Luxury™ are currently pioneering this real-time rewards solution in-store called ‘SHOP MY JOURNEY’ (SMJ). SMJ will allow for escalating real-time rewards at the point of purchase. While people are shopping, they will also be alerted to instant flash or fire sales to add to their shopping list/cart. With its One Tap or Click Payment option, SMJ will deliver.

2. Convenience:

Omni-channeled solutions were long seen as the bridging gap between traditional bricks and mortar stores and the online revolution. In most cases, customers have been challenged with complicated tasks with disjointed outcomes. This has created a rise in the total re-evaluation of core customers needs towards smarter solutions by companies such as Instacart.

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Instacart is purely software in the form of an App, which allows customers to hold groceries at their local stores and get them delivered to their door within the hour. Through a structured crowdsourcing model Instacart can respond quickly to peoples’ orders. Their fulfillment engine intelligently pairs the closest driver to a customers order. To add more convenience, there is no physical exchange of money, it is all handled between the customers credit card and Instacart which makes payment secure. What is even more important is that Instacart is contributing towards building local economies and strengthening the job market. Instacart is now serving more than 15 cities and growing fast.

 

3. Personalisation – Wearable Shopping:

When it comes to retail businesses connecting with their customers, the ultimate luxury is personalisation. It never goes out of date and as we progress into the future, personal customer data collection will become the norm. Imagine walking into a store and your favourite items are already packed for you just waiting to be checked out. Or, goods being automatically delivered to your doorstep when your current items expire?

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Its called Smart Shopping, and technology such as wearable devices are driving this trend. It allows the gap between a customer’s needs and retailers to minimise. In addition to customizing to your preferences (personal data), retailers will know who you are when you walk into their store and talk to you about relevant, useful goods rather than selling you just anything to make budget.

Personal wearable shopping is a hyper fast trend growing in your neighbourhood as we speak. Apple’s Smart Watch is set to revolutionise this trend with its push notifications from selected retailers and fully integrated Apple Pay system, a platform that enables customers to pay for purchase with a flick of their wrist. Now add the internet of things (IoT) to this notion and watch out retailers.

 

4. Shopping Trip Planners

Dense Smart Cities and the IoT will add many layers of complexity to the retail experience. Whilst most retailers will be looking to make things a little more convenient for the future shopper, French department store retailer Galleries Lafayette is already putting the customer in the driving seat or palm of their hands. Think about fully connected shopping orders for multiple retail stores through your smart phone. Planning a multi layered, multi faceted shop, then opting to pick it up or get it delivered.

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Galleries Lafyette App

 

5. Local Retailers are the Future

As smart cities become the norm, a type of local retailer will evolve to meet the needs of a local customer and help strengthen local economies. Winners of future retail will be the business that are agile and forward thinking to establish systems that can deliver sustainable, social, emotional and economic value through technology. Time and general goodness will become the most valuable commodity. Future retailers will be smart enough to tap into convenience, healthy choices, localised services and ownership. The gloss off international chains will have shifted to make way for the rise of local retailers.

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