Create transformative innovation

What consumers really want

Irreverent, innovative and downright inspirational, retail futurist Howard Saunders offers a simple but powerful insight for retailers everywhere: technology is about creating connections, not selling stuff.

What consumers really want

Thanks to technology, retail customers are smarter, better informed and have access to more choices than ever before – so what do they really want from retailers? If retail futurist Howard Saunders is right, they want an authentic, genuine connection.

 

Transcript

Howard Saunders, Retail Futurist

The truth is, we don’t need any more stuff. There’s no one here that needs a t-shirt or a pen or a watch. We’ve all got them.

We don’t need shoes, we’re wearing them.

There’s something else going on and what retail really does – it reaches out and touches you and it’s about connecting.

If you’re a brand, it means having a personality and a character.

It means hosting, I like to say, like a dinner party and can you imagine going to a dinner party and sitting at the end of this table, the host is the brand and all he does is talk about himself or talk about herself all night.

Here’s a thought: maybe the host has to sort of ask us something occasionally. Make us feel involved.

That’s a dialogue and that’s what brands are having – are having to learn to do.

There’s a defining moment, and it was 2008 – I call it the apocalypse and you call it the GFC [global financial crisis] and the UK call it the recession or whatever. The truth is, it all changed at that point.

We built a new set of rules and we want brands with a bit more meaning.

Prior to 2008, we had a phone; 2008 onwards, we had a computer, a personal computer that knows everything about us.

So we’re all looking down at our phones, constantly looking, what are we doing? Escaping the universe?

We’re not escaping the universe, we’re looking into it, we’re having a dialogue with somebody and something. We’re playing a game, we’re looking at tweets, we’re replying, we’re playing scrabble, we’re doing, we’re engaging in something because the room we’re in isn’t very interesting.

Customers are smart, they’re not just mobile. They’re smart, they’ve read up, they’ve looked online, they know more about the product than the staff in so many instances. So you’re – you’re going to see a huge shift towards a new form of hospitality.

Discover how retailers are using technology from Telstra to make and sustain the connections they need to succeed.

Find out more

Related News

Smiling men at work
Liberate your workforce
Liberate your workforce
2018: The year of employee engagement

New technologies and techniques are changing the way HR professionals maintain employee engagement. Traditional methods of office communication such as phone, email and confere...

Hangers in a wardrobe
Optimise your IT
Optimise your IT
Change rooms change it up: SD-WAN for retailers

What do SD-WAN and a change room have in common? VeloCloud’s Vice-President, Asia-Pacific, Joseph Chung explains how you can use SD-WAN to boost customer experience. How much ...

crossroads in a city with pedestrians
Reach global markets
Reach global markets
Q&A with Paul Abfalter: Building Asia’s digital network

We sat down with Paul Abfalter, Business Development Strategist and Regional Director for Telstra, to discuss the factors affecting digitalisation in the Asia Pacific region. I...

Woman with glasses working on a computer in a server room
Create transformative innovation
Create transformative innovation
Preparing for the unexpected with Stephen Elop

From the printing press to the Internet of Things, exciting disruptions often come with profound unintended consequences for business and society. Tune into our podcast with St...