Future of Retail, Pt 3

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday were successful days for the retail sector, these two days alone are not a panacea to the sector’s performance challenges. Some retailers will continue this momentum. Others will not. The difference between the two sets of retailers? Knowing when and how to act as the water around you gets hot.

In our world, there are two kinds of frogs — those that jump out of the pot when it’s boiling and those that boil. Smart retailers jump out of the pot before it boils. They are keenly aware of changing conditions on the ground. And they don’t allow personal opinions about the cause behind the changing conditions to stand in the way of decisions and actions.

The global push to meet today’s needs without compromising future generations’ ability to do the same is one such boiling pot for retailers. Some are ignoring customer interest in all things environmental and social. Smart retailers, on the other hand, have realized the water around them is getting hot and they are proactively taking action. As a result, these retailers are cutting costs today, planting growth seeds for tomorrow, and setting the stage for accelerated strategic agility well into the future.

Read the full article here —>

Retail’s Interactive Experience Future

Future-of-Retail

It is Christmas day, we’ve all had our fill of coffee, cookies, and wrapping paper as we tore through the gifts from loved ones. My most valuable gift this year was a renewed subscription to the Harvard Business Review, which I would like to share some of the great knowledge I’ve garnered through my perusing of this publication.

We know tomorrow, the Next Day, most stores will flocked to much like Black Friday with all of the after holiday sales. For retailers, this is the biggest time of year, and though superficially great for the economy, how are the locally owned stores going to compete the rest of the year?

I have worked in wholesale, resale retail, and forward-thinking collaborative retail projects where buying can be seasonal or mostly inexplicable in layman’s terms. Most of the things we buy, we don’t need, and in an atmosphere such as is unknowingly to be in 2013’s revealing of our fiscal cliff for-certain catastrophe, most consumers are looking for deals.

This may not always be the case though, if your store is selling a style or mind-set, in the way that Apple does. In this HBR article, Ron Johnsonn, the former VP of Retail for Apple describes that their main selling point that gets folks in the store to buy is the experience.

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Part of that experience is the mobile check-out abilities of tablets and smartphones that allow the customer to have a face-to-face relationship with the sales clerk. This means small stores need to take after the likes of Target, who’s mobile application and coupon center is by far the slickest I’ve seen, and integrate technology in their operations. Again, another great HBR Article describes just how and why this should occur.

Want to see deep in to the future? It’s not too far off in this developing virtual supermarket in Korea. The technological abilities to organize, superimpose, and assist decision making for customers with smart technology has just begun.

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With all that being said, when tomorrow comes and you’re in a big box store searching for the super-holiday-end deals, check out the mobile devices, photography equipment, display ideas, and convenience appliances that would enhance your customer’s experience so that you save while you expand your sales plan.