The future of Retail under moonlight

Wow, last night’s segment on Nightlife with Tony Delroy on ABC Local radio was a hoot.

We stripped back the hype, doom and gloom to take a look under the hood to see what is really going on with retail to discover that we are living through an evolutionary phase, like many industry’s across our planet, in which new elements of purchasing and retailing are emerging such as online, and as we transition through this we are experiencing the usual change mentality of “in my day this would never have happened” and “the world as we know it, is over”.

We will have casualties in this journey and nothing good can be made of that, but we will also have new heroes and experiences come out of it and in a few years this brave new retail / consumer world that we are building will seem ordinary and the way we used to shop will be another folk story we tell our children.

Online retail, even in the most ambitious statistics, is set to only account for about 15% of all retail purchases in the next 10 years, this leaves much buying and selling to be done in a physical store and in this newish world, the physical store will still account for the majority of retail experiences, but within that store there will be totally new expectations and interactions.

We are currently taking our first tentative steps into this new retail experience with mobile device apps, QR (quick response codes), NFC (near field technology) and in store technology such as magic mirrors.

Consumers will come laden with these new technologies, at first in their mobile devices and then beyond into other devices and discreet objects they carry on or with them as well as new in-store technologies. They also come laden with information, insights and prejudices provided by their online social networking tribe.

We are also seeing crowdsourcing websites such as groupon, scoopon, catch of the day and many others that have an initial flurry of excitement and success and are now having to rebuild their business models and broaden their offerings for long-term sustainability.

We also put shopping into context to see it as an 8 stages process, only one of which is the actual purchase, and that it is the way the consumer travels through these stages, using a blend of traditional and virtual engagement, that is changing.

We also chatted about the changing consumer, consumption patterns, global / national / local markets, bespoke and hyper-personalised purchasing.

A tonne of interest and great questions from our many call in listeners, so all in all a great interview and well worth a listen if you want to make sense of what lies ahead in retail (47 minutes):

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