Customers expect more from companies, and companies are listening. About 89% of consumers only choose based on customer experience and individual preferences. Stores adapt quickly, and will transform very soon.
Customers are increasingly used to using digital technologies in their daily life. As a result, e-commerce is growing rapidly and becoming more and more competitive. With the growth of e-commerce comes a greater need for data security and compliance.
Three knights in the future of shops
It's not just about online, however: technologies likeartificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), personalization, touch screens, engaging physical experiences and more will be the real battlegrounds that will allow any company to stand out from its competitors.
In summary: the shops of the future promise unique and personalized itineraries.
This revolution (brought about by technology, new preferences and even demographic shifts) will completely change the nature of the shops between now and the end of the decade. At least in three ways:
1. They will be more connected
The stores of the future will be more connected than ever, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet and can collect and exchange data. In retail, this could mean anything from in-store beacons that direct customers to specific items they're looking for, to digital displays that show inventory in real time. Embryonic model? Wheat, the chain of shops without queues and checkouts (but full of cameras).
2. They will be totally customer-centric
The stores of the future will be more customer-centric, with a focus on delivering personalized experiences. This could lead to using customer data to suggest products they might like, or offering in-store experiences that are tailored to their individual preferences. Embryonic model? The new shops Amazon Style.
3. They will be data driven
The stores of the future will be more data-driven, using technologies like AI and AR to provide customers with product information and make recommendations. This could lead to "additional" product information, or in-store navigation that uses AR to guide customers to specific items. Embryonic model? There are several, linked more to technology than to a specific business model.
In summary: what should we expect when entering our favorite stores in the future?
We will be guided along a personalized path, tailor-made for us. If we have a sweet tooth, the candy aisle will win us over with discounted prices and videos or offers that catch our attention, perhaps when we are still at home. If clothes are more our thing, the dressing rooms will be filled with clothes that match our style. And if we like to browse before making a purchase, well, a sea of interactive displays (some even worn by us) will give us all the information we need to decide.