Create transformative innovation

The digital era prompts a rethink within retail

The world of retail has been turned upside down with the advent of the always-on, globally-connected economy. Today’s consumers shop anytime they want and with a click of a mouse or tap of a phone they can purchase goods from across the street or around the world. As a consequence, the need to innovate to retain marketshare has become more apparent – and urgent.

Digital technologies have put the power firmly in the hands of the consumer, whilst also providing the impetus for new types of competition. Smartphones and the like have also prompted a rethink of the retailer/consumer relationship.

Shopping trolley

For retailers, who have traditionally been slow to respond to change, this era of rapid change has been challenging. However it has brought with it many positives, such as facilitating closer relationships with digital shoppers, creating opportunities for new services and providing information that is helping retailers to work more efficiently.

Adding digitally to your shopping experience

Digital technology is already being used by a number of retailers to enhance and improve the entire shopping experience.

McDonald’s for example, has deployed a new digital entertainment concept that combines superfast in-house Wi-Fi with a McDonald’s instant app to open up a whole new world of news, entertainment, games and learning experiences for customers.

Customer responsiveness is also key to the new Myer Hub, which does everything from, offering tired shoppers a coffee, to suggesting clothes to try on in store, and revealing a safe space where excess baggage can be stowed while shoppers continue to browse.

In a similar vein Telstra’s own T-Shop’s have been rebuilt from the inside out, to feature everything from wearable technology stylists, in-house baristas and pop-up community spaces, while slashing processing times.

Innovation in the retail industry

Idea in brief
  • Retailers need to embrace innovation in the face of a consumer and competitive landscape that is being radically disrupted by digital technologies
  • Organisational structures that used to work in traditional retail organisations are not effective in today’s disruptive environments
  • An Innovation Index to benchmark and track against can be an effective tool for retailers to help drive innovation and change in their business
  • Fast-food chain McDonald’s, department store Myer and T-shop are just some of the retailers using technology to create a whole new customer experience
  • Three key overlapping technologies Big Data analytics, mobility and the Internet of Things (and/or some combination of them all) will shape the retail industry in the coming years
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