Setting a benchmark withcompelling transformation, how has Retail segment evolved so far?
Retail industry today stands at US$25 trillion and is expected to increase to approx. US$28 trillion by 2020. A very optimistic and dynamic segment no doubt.
Tracing its genesis and evolution in quick steps
Since thenthe road ahead has been one of the fast-paced innovation catch-up ever. With Omni channel customer experiences gaining momentum, retail can be aptly termed as ‘retail-ainment’. It is not only the big brands but smaller ones also following the omni-channel strategy.
What role technology is playing in transforming the retail industry and bringing about intelligent retail?
Technological innovations have brought significant changes across industries and sectors. Its presence is visible in retail sector too. Technological advancements like virtual shopping assistants, in-store stylist robots, AI-powered recommendation engines, bot managed billing counters etc., have altered the dynamics of retail drastically. In fact the most visible transformation is of the buyers into digitally empowered creed who is also a hyper-connected consumer with a complete view of competing landscape.
In tandem, retailers are also bringing in innovation into established practices. Data Analytics and data intelligence have presented a striking picture of reinvented retail and retailers have decided not to be left behind. It is no wonder then a recent study claimed that
Surely, now is the beginning of modern intelligent retail with great focus on providing experiential and immersive customer experiences.Briefly, the mandates of retail have now changed to
These may be considered as trend driverspushing the retail industry for the next big leap by 2030.
Is there anything called “too much innovation”? How does frequent innovation impact the retail sector?
There is nothing like “too much innovation”, however frequent changes and innovation may create somecracks in the “quality” and “expectations”. An underline goal of all innovations should always be providing immersive and seamless consumer experience with no compromise on quality. For example, treating online and offline customer as two different entities. Retail strategies sometimes tend to give more importance todigital channels vis-à-vis physical store that may rob the potential consumer of cohesive product/service experience! Similarly, in the age of fierce pricing which is based on enhanced optimization algorithms, retailers run afterto be a part of thediscount race. This may result in lowering the projected value and quality of the products.
In both the cases, relying heavily on technological innovation and ignoring 360-degree approach towards brand strategy may adversely impact the brands. So, even though it is critical to constantly pursue innovation, it is more important to maintain the domain basics and practice relevant and responsive retailing.
What does the future hold for the Retail sector?
Retail sector riding high on technological innovations is set for great leaps. Some of the most promising futuristic technologies that shall disrupt the retail arena are:
These technologies promise to better equip retailers for turning prospects into a buyer and a buyer into a loyalist, while simplifying the entire sales cycle.