PSFK's Future of Retail 2018 report presents a new framework for physical, online and mobile retail

After a tumultuous few decades that saw the world introduced to new terms like e-commerce, m-commerce and multichannel, the marketplace may have finally settled on a new reality—that all retail is digital. Just ask consumers.

Today’s highly connected shopper doesn’t think in terms of physical, online or mobile. They simply want to shop with their preferred store or brand how and when they want and enjoy the best experience possible when they do. Which means that retailers and brands must break from the siloed approach that assigned different teams and strategies to each of its channels and take an integrated view of its customers, operations and stores. With our latest report, we apply this unified vision to the reinvention of offline retail, exploring how the best of digital—convenience, personalization and data-rich insights—can transform and enhance the brick-and-mortar experience.

By starting with a foundation of digital intelligence, retailers and brands can activate (and monetize) the physical store in entirely new ways. Now shoppers can benefit from the same level of recognized service they receive online, and companies, in turn, can monitor their behaviors to constantly refine merchandising and marketing. Common points of friction—checkout, stock availability and fulfillment—become streamlined, ensuring customers always get exactly what they want in the most convenient way possible and businesses benefit from increased efficiencies.

With this digital infrastructure in place, retailers and brands can focus on amplifying the qualities that make physical stores so special—human connection, tactile experiences and product curation. Freed from the need to display endless aisles of inventory, smaller footprint showrooms can present products as part of an aspirational lifestyle, educating shoppers on optimal use cases and helping them achieve their broader goals. With the addition of one-on-one attention, partner services and events programming, companies can return greater value on their customers’ investment in time, while simultaneously creating more incentives to visit.

Despite the recent struggles of traditional incumbents amidst the growing reach of digital-first juggernauts, we no longer see the future of retail as an on- and offline divide. The organizations who not only survive, but thrive, in this landscape will prioritize strategies that are channel-synergistic and customer-first.

The Future of Retail 2018 outlines how companies can transform their stores into experience centers that extend their supply chain and digital commerce platforms, creating mutual value with a focus on shopper experience. Members can download the report today or all readers can immerse themselves in the findings at our retail sessions on Jan. 17, 2018.

After a tumultuous few decades that saw the world introduced to new terms like e-commerce, m-commerce and multichannel, the marketplace may have finally settled on a new reality—that all retail is digital. Just ask consumers.

Today’s highly connected shopper doesn’t think in terms of physical, online or mobile. They simply want to shop with their preferred store or brand how and when they want and enjoy the best experience possible when they do. Which means that retailers and brands must break from the siloed approach that assigned different teams and strategies to each of its channels and take an integrated view of its customers, operations and stores. With our latest report, we apply this unified vision to the reinvention of offline retail, exploring how the best of digital—convenience, personalization and data-rich insights—can transform and enhance the brick-and-mortar experience.