Piers Fawkes: Retail’s Big Opportunities After The Mobile And Social Revolution

Understanding the modern shopping experience and how to build on seismic change to consumer behavior.

Picture someone standing in an aisle of a store looking at their phone. Where are they in their shopping journey? Can you tell? Are they doing research, checking prices, sharing an image through social media or getting ready to buy from a competitor? Are they looking for customer service or are they trying to avoid it?

Mobile and social has led to a revolution in retail. Over the previous three issues of our annual Future of Retail report, we’ve witnessed how these technology drivers have caused seismic shifts in customer behavior. It seems to have disrupted the purchase path so much so that it’s nearly impossible to tell whether that shopper standing in that store is there to buy or showroom and where they might go next.

What has become clear from our research for this report is that there is real opportunity for both retailers and brands to take advantage of the new landscape that has emerged from the impact of mobile and social by ensuring that they’re available to shoppers where and when that purchase moment strikes.

Alongside traditional systems, new Data-Driven Commerce Platforms (DDCPs) are emerging as strategic tools that companies can use to dynamically react to shoppers as they journey along the Networked Purchase Path.

Being data-ready means that a retailer and brand can begin to work out where that shopper in the aisle is on their customer journey, where they’ve been and where they need to go next to make that purchase.

PSFK’s Future of Retail 2014 report is our most instructive survey to date and I trust that the findings are inspirational, employable and empowering. You’ll learn when to offer the price discount when the shopper needs that nudge, provide access to a community when the shopper needs some independent advice, access knowledgeable staff when they need the support, and deliver the right service to close the sale.

The 2014 edition of the Future of Retail Report is now available from PSFK Labs. The new survey describes key trends driving the retail experience and the findings are brought to life with best-in-class examples, actionable strategies and leading questions to inspire leading retailers and brands.

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