““Retailers are no longer just in a battle with other retailers: they are now in a war of continuous technological disruption!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
I’m in Torrey Pines, California this morning, and in a few hours will speak the #RevionicsInsight conference with a keynote on the future of retail.
The quote just about sums things up! Consider what’s retailers have had to deal with in the just the last few years, as consumer expectations in the omni-channel world accelerate:
- the rapid installation of “click and collect” infrastructure (i.e. an online purchase, with same day pickup at a retail location)
- faster ‘store fashion’ with rapid evolution of in-store promotion, layout and interaction
- the arrival of intelligent packaging and intelligent (“Internet of Things”) products
- collapsing product life-cycles, rapid product obsolescence and the implications on inventory and supply chain
- continued growth in e-commerce , now expected to be 13% of all retail by 2021
- “shopper marketing,” which combines location intelligence, mobile technology and in-store display technology
- mobile payment involving Apple Pay and disappearance of the cash-register – same-day shipping everywhere!
- Alexa and shopping bots!
- the arrival of ‘last mile delivery’ infrastructure
Now consider just a few of the next wave technologies they will have to adapt to – because consumers are coming to expect a retailer to be as tech-savvy with strategy as the next best retailer:
- Smart displays
- In store spatial guide technology
- Experiential retail experience systems
- Unmanned store infrastructure
- Automated laser linked shelf replenishment tech
- In store pick and pack optimization systems
- Virtual bodyfit mirrors
The impact? The role of the cashier, sales representative, inventory associate, and stock clerk are gone …. what’s in are retail data analysts, digital imaging leaders, IT process modellers, digital marketing specialists and customer experience architects!