Key takeaways

  • Through the growth of digital technologies both off and online – customers are now in control of their own retail experience and journey.
  • Retail reinvention will be defined by the various customer journeys required to support the individual needs of customers.
  • Customer care, personalisation and contextual-relevance need to be a key considerations for all future retail strategies.

Recently Westfield hosted its breakfast seminar series to share global insights and knowledge with its core customers, in order to help them make sense of the changing retail landscape. The session was presented by three great speakers: Jon Stine, Director, Retail and Consumer Products, Cisco (US), Martin Butler, Chairman, Martin Butler Associates (UK)  and Jon Bird, CEO, Ideaworks.

Observations and insights from the US and UK markets were largely consistent with our own local thought leadership about Consumer Adaptive Retailing, with the following key messages:

  • The customer is now in control – they can shop anywhere, anytime and for a potentially lower price through access to global markets. Retailers will only be chosen if they provide customer value and differentiation.
  • Customer care is the key differentiator. The ability to care for the customer – providing them with personalised, contextually relevant advice – is the key the ongoing value in retail.
  • Offline innovation is not only critical, but an advantage. The retail store continues to play a critical role, but has shifted to one where customers can experiment, socialise and explore. Innovation of in-store experience will continue to play a key role in retail reinvention.
  • The role of in-store staff is equally important – they must deliver the customer care, knowledge and experience that defines customer value. If staff are purely there to facilitate a transaction, the customer will choose the most convenient channel – online.

The future is…

Retail reinvention is now defined by the various customer journeys required to support the individual needs of customers. Customers expect access to product research, product comparison, purchase and delivery via the channel of their choice – mobile, web or in-store – based upon their individual needs and circumstances.

The multichannel journey may vary by customer or circumstance, and retail reinvention must allow for all customer needs (e.g. purchase in-store, same-day drop off or mobile purchase, pickup in store, etc.).

As a part of this retail reinvention, retailers must adopt ‘Bring your own device‘ (BYOD) strategies for both customers and employees. This will  allow integrated multichannel experiences such as real-time in-store offers and context-aware personalised adaptive retailing.

The internet is now the front door to the retail experience – potentially opening up the channel-agnostic customer experience journey, which will determine brand value, encourage loyalty and ultimately drive commercial success.

This post was adapted from the New Digital Economy blog.



John Riccio

John is a former partner at PwC Australia and the founder of Digital Pulse.

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