In “Retail Rebooted,” the latest trend report out of New York-based marketing communications big shot JWIntelligence, a trio of key trends delivering change to the retail arena are revisited. The result of a quantitative and qualitative burst of research conducted among American and British retail players, experts and influencers, the report revises its take on three critical developments it identified in years past.
The highlights of this important assessment are touched on below.
- Predictive Personalization. The vast sea of increasingly granular data we’re forever being told that retailers are collecting on us will come to useful fruition in the form of more targeted overtures designed to make customers feel more acknowledged for who they are. And as data analysis becomes ever more sophisticated and cost-efficient, this kind of personalized attention stands only to increase. Some examples of this trend in action include bespoke coupons and special offers delivered in real time.
- Retail as “Third Space.” As Christopher Studach, creative director at King Retail Solutions, has said, “Stores will become more theatrical, more immersive, and more of a life experience rather than simply a place to get something. As much as they are selling products they will be selling a good time, a lifestyle.” In other words, the utilitarian nature of a shop will be upended to make room for lasting experiences, special service and unique environments. This includes redesigning spaces to be more appealing and comfortable; adding lingering extras, including cafes and even cocktail bars; and offering amenities like wifi, and special events like classes.
- Everything Is Retail. Laughably long gone are the days when shopping was an activity that took place solely inside the confines of designated “stores.” Everything is a “store” now, after all, considering particularly the pervasive preponderance of mobile technology that characterizes the landscape. Now shopping is a value exchange that can play out in any number of new and novel ways. That ups the ante for brands, who must get increasingly creative in their efforts to sell stuff.