Jessica Lehmann, strategy director for retail consultancy FITCH, on the advantage of giving the consumer freedom over their own store shopping experience

It’s no secret that 2018 was a strong year for retailers, even as the landscape experiences significant shifts fueled by the data revolution and the expansion of digital channels. What used to be a linear experience—consumers walk into a store to talk to a trusted associate before weighing options and making a direct purchase—has become a sprawling journey that spans platforms and touchpoints.

Decisions on when and how to make a purchase are not driven purely by brand or product preference. Convenience and price are now center stage, playing an even more decisive role for Gen Z and Millennials, who look at speed of access or delivery and ease of returns as they weigh options.

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