Future of Retail: Selling The Ideal

Businesses are exploring ways to better translate consumer’s personal desires into reality through innovative uses of communication platforms.


PSFK Future of Retail Selling The Ideal

This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Retail. Selling The Ideal is one trend of ten that appears in our exploration of how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience, both in and out of the store, from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities.

Summary

Consumers search for products and experiences with an ideal image in their head of how these things should fit within their lives. Businesses are exploring ways to better translate this picture into reality through innovative uses of communication platforms. These are tools that allow consumers to have expectations met earlier in the process, to avoid wasting time further down the line.

Implications

  • By creating tailored end-to-end experiences from customer service through purchase and beyond, retailers are opening the door for repeat business
  • Enabling the customer to lead the conversation, ensures that they feel more comfortable during the entire purchase path
  • The retailer can make a personalized offering before, during and after purchase
  • The shopper can preview options before setting foot in the store
  • By providing premium service tailored to individual needs, the customer is empowered to make more informed decisions about their purchases

Supporting Examples for Selling The Ideal:

Offer Me A Trip

Travel Agents Bid On Consumers’ Dream Vacations
OfferMeATrip is an online site that allows customers to imagine their ideal vacations by describing their desires in terms of location, activities, length of stay and price. A network of approved travel agents can react by offering customized trip itineraries around the customer’s parameters.

Trunk Club

Use A Personalized Shopper Without Having To Visit A Store
Understanding that not everyone enjoys the experience of shopping for clothing, the founders of Trunk Club created a shopping service targeted at men, enabling them to try on clothing from the convenience of their own homes. each individual is assigned a style expert who mails them apparel and accessories based on their personal profile and an initial webcam consultation. Customers can then choose to buy or send back any of the selections.

Plan B Salon

Hair Salon Offers Skype Consultations
Realizing that their clients might appreciate speaking with a stylist prior to heading to their hairdressers, Plan B Salon in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has launched a new service offering 15-minute video consultations. Before their salon visit, customers make a Skype web-video call with the stylist and can get an idea of what their options are or how receptive the stylist is to their requests.

4Food

Restaurant Creates Customer-Focused Experience With Technology
4Food is a new organic fast food restaurant which will feature a 240 square foot monitor to stream foursquare check-ins, customer tweets and info from the restaurant. At the store, the staff will take orders on ipads. Diners are encouraged to pre-order their food online before visiting, using a number of customization options to design the perfect meal. Customers can even name their personalized creations and market them, receiving $.25 in store credit for every sale.

Hello Health

Web-Enabled Healthcare Provides For Richer In-Office Visits
Hello Health is a network of physicians focused on bringing a deep level of transparency, communication, and accessibility to those seeking professional medical help. The service is built on a social network-like platform that allows physicians and patients to continually share information relevant to their care prior to and outside of office visits.

Request your free Copy Of The Future Of Retail Report here.

In just over 80 pages, PSFK Consulting provide an analysis of the Future of Retail. This free report explores a future from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities – highlighting how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience both in and out of the store. It features interviews with senior executives from Ace HotelPolyvoreStarbucks and Target. The trends identified within this document and the examples used to bring them to life are inspired by innovation from around the globe.

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