While accurately predicting where the retail industry will be in 5 years is unrealistic, CQL believes it will include equal parts ‘shopping experience’ and ‘consumer data’ driven by new buying patterns of the next generation.
The Experience Economy is Happening
Millennials are proving every day that they desire to engage with brands far more extensively, personally and emotionally. They distinguish themselves by their spending habits, brand preferences, values, personalities, and general outlook on life. This emerging buyer demands that you 1). know their preferences, 2). know your own data, and 3). deliver excellent experiences.
As these requirements become the norm, these buyers will exert their immense influence on the retail industry.
Savvy retailers are creating a unified experience today
Because consumers want to have a technical, emotional and physical relationship with their purchases, savvy retail stores are creating a “full” experience for every kind of customer:
- Burberry has equipped their stores with touchscreen technologies to enhance the shopping experience. A customer can scan the barcode of any item in the store, and a video showing how it is made and who makes it will appear on the screen. (We believe that with the predicted explosion of Augmented Reality (AR), this in-store digital experience is only the tip of the iceberg (see our blog on Apple’s new entry to the AR world) .
- Lululemon’s brand defines itself as an active company. Many locations across the country provide FREE yoga classes in their stores every weekend. This attracts people to come into their stores and brings a community together in a positive light.
- Designer and brand, Rebecca Minkoff, is partnering with QueueHop on a new self-checkout technology to streamline the purchasing experience.
- Tractor Supply Company provides detailed on-line reviews of its products and store pick-up. If a product is not available when you are shopping, a clerk can access your preferences and have the item shipped to your home. Hassle free, shipping free, loyalty points in-tact.
Savvy Retailers Know That a Unified Experience Requires Investments in Technology
Each of these retail leaders are reinventing the shopping experience and can only do so with an integrated approach to their data-systems. By seeing their ecommerce platform, order management systems (OMS), in-Store POS systems and CRM technology work together to make the shopping experience unique. It is their hope to avoid the trends that other retailers are following.
If you haven’t read about Amazon’s not-so-hidden secret in our blog As the World Cries out ‘Retail Is Dead,’ Amazon Says ‘Long Live Retail’ we highly recommend it.
By creating better experiences tied to better data systems, we predict retail will once again thrive with an integrated experience.
Are you trying to understand what a unified commerce vision looks like for your business? Let’s talk.