“I would say there are three main concepts behind changes in the industry:
- Mobility: The retail industry’s biggest ‘enabler’ is mobile technology. It’s completely changing the rhythm of the industry: customers can browse and purchase how they want to, and staff can be more responsive to customer requests.
- Customer centricity: The customer has to be at the centre of everything you do, so you must gather as much data as possible and create a ‘whole’ view of the customer.
- Borderless retail: Expanding into new markets across the globe is easier than ever, thanks to advances in technology. With new businesses like Channel Advisor which plugs you straight in to new markets, you can do this with minimal capital outlay.
“Over and above these three things, consumer expectations are key to your success. One thing I hear time and again is the idea of a seamless brand,” explains Paul.
“What that means is that customers don’t want to be forced down one channel, bricks-and-mortar or online; they want a seamless connection between the two. They want to browse products online and purchase in store, or vice versa. Ultimately, they want control and flexibility, and as a retailer you need to support that.”
In next month’s IN:SIGHT, we’ll find out from Paul which technologies he’s backing to help retailers meet these rising consumer expectations and keep costs to a minimum.