We are witnessing the birth of a new breed of shopper. They float seamlessly across mobile, online and real-world platforms as they travel up and down the purchase path and in doing so, exert tremendous influence over the ways that brands may interact with them and their peer group. The ways in which they consume information, discover goods and make purchases has forced retailers to contemplate a new mix of transactional, behavioral, and social behaviors to remain competitive.
Today, patrons stand in the aisles of stores, using their mobile phones to help them shop. The mobile phone is at the heart of the challenge to traditional retail, as it significantly interrupts the classical notion of the purchase-path. The act of showrooming – where shoppers use their phones to compare price, product specifications and read reviews – is changing retail so much that news outlets, like CNN and the Wall Street Journal, are wondering if the smartphone will be the final dagger in the back of traditional big-box stores.
Many traditional retailers have not effectively adopted multi-channel retail experiences and remain exposed to the significant risk of being left behind by more agile, digitally-savvy competitors. And yet there is another reality – that of the shopper. One might use words like ‘empowerment, transparency, ease-of-use and convenience’ to describe the evolving experience for the digitally-savvy shopper. This report provides a snapshot of both of these realities. It showcases trends that are driving change in retail and can be leveraged by retailers, both large and small, to compete in the modern retail marketplace.
In the following pages, PSFK’s Consulting team has identified two themes and described them in detail. The first is Retail On Demand, which is an early expression of an evolved way of buying and selling. The second is the New Brand Champion, which speaks to the power of peer-based interactions and paints a picture of world in which brands and retailers must adjust the role they play in the shopping equation.
I trust you find this report full of inspiration that leaves you excited about the opportunities available in our new world of retail.
Founder & President, PSFK