5 Factors Driving the change in Retail Operations

Retail technology changes

Digital technology is changing the way we live and certainly the way we shop. With the rise of the internet, social media, and mobility, consumers now have access to a wealth of information to guide them along their path to purchase. While more than 50% of retail sales are being influenced by online, 90% of consumer purchases are still finalized in stores.

HarborTech Mobility can help you make your store – The Store of the Future. This is one of the Winning Strategies based on STEIP framework, which identifies and evaluates drivers of change from Society, Technology, Economy, Industry and Policy that impact retail and its future developments.

SOCIETY

  • Smaller household sizes and urbanization are driving the shift away from large stores
  • Shoppers increasingly value experiences
  • Expectations of on-demand consumers cannot always be met by stores alone

TECHNOLOGY

  • Digital access is accelerating: more than 1.1 billion new internet users will come online by 2021
  • The proliferation of mobile digital devices and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Pervasive computing, the Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) enable real-time and predictive analytics

ECONOMY

  • Pressure on middle class triggers heightened price sensitivity
  • Emerging and developing markets will provide long-term consumer growth

INDUSTRY

  • E-commerce will be the fastest-growing channel, expected to account for 25% of global retail channel sales by 2022
  • Increasing pressure on labor levels and wages

POLICY

  • Data security regulations increase
  • Protectionist regulations to safeguard jobs in the face of rising automation could add increased overheads to store operations

Longstanding socio-demographic factors will persist, while the pace of technological change will continue to accelerate. Stores must invest to keep pace with online. Investing in an effective digital/mobile strategy to improve the customer experience is essential now than ever. They need to understand:

  • Who their customers are
  • Where they are in store, and how long they stay
  • Why they are there, i.e. the reason for the visit, and at what point they’re at in the sales funnel
  • How to best engage with them, based on this context

The store is not dead – but needs reinvention to remain relevant. To remain relevant in the future, stores need to cater to the changing shopping habits of today’s on-demand consumer, whose expectations are mainly driven by the digitization of experiences.

The role of the store should evolve away from being solely transaction-based. To differentiate, the store will increasingly become a physical portal into brands and product experiences – a place where consumers can be inspired, learn, socialize and experiment with new products.

  • Creating a memorable experience that can’t be replicated online
  • Positioning the store as a social hub
  • Building a frictionless interaction with online to offline (O2O) integration
  • Differentiating through product curation

The STEIP drivers outline just some of the macroeconomic and societal changes that underpin the reasons why retailers should invest in the Store of the Future. Contact HarborTech Mobility to learn more about how Wi-Fi analytics can help retailers in answering vital questions to manage their stores better, increase sales and customer engagement.

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