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    The evolution of retail is driven by innovation

    The evolution of retail is driven by innovation

    The world of retail is evolving, with digital natives—of all ages—taking over. So you need to update and adapt—or in other words, be the retailer or brand your customers can’t live without.


    Innovation is driving an evolution in shopper behavior and shopper expectations. This, along with online shopping, puts pressure on physical retailers to combine the best features of digital platforms with the benefits of physical stores.


    Studies show that retailers are quickly catching on. 63% of ”retail winners” (stores with higher-than-average sales) are planning a major redesign, while 52% of stores are planning to replace existing stores with brand-new formats. That’s a lot of innovation.


    So how will new technology impact the future customer experience in retail?

    The millennial impact

    Millennials are the driving force behind innovation. In fact, by 2020, they will make up the majority of the workforce. Thanks to growing up in the midst of a technological revolution, they are the first generation to have been immersed in social media from a young age.

    Social media is addictive, because it offers a small surprise every time you scroll through your feed. What’s more, you keep going back for more thanks to a quick hit of dopamine in your brain. This—for better or for worse—has changed our expectations of how life should be. And of course, it has also affected expectations around shopping experiencea. For example, 69% of shoppers now expect to see something new every time they visit a store.

    While millennials were pioneers in the digital sphere, the impact of social media has now spread to other shopper demographics. And in order to adapt, retailers need to ensure their stores are digitally enabled and ready to take on new innovations as they appear.

    Retail is evolving

    When preparing for the future, retailers need to focus on an omnichannel approach. Online and mobile channels used to be operated separately from the physical, but now those channels need to come together to provide one experience for the customer. Everything needs to be connected, with the consumer at the center, allowing retailers to successfully bridge the gap between the digital and physical.

    To do this, retailers need to innovate. And quickly. The most important thing is to be fast, to try out new things—and to also be quick in letting things go again if they don’t work, or they are not relevant.

    Running small pilots on the newest technology or software applications—and moving on quickly if they’re not successful—is the best way for you to get ahead in this world of retail evolution. This enables you to build towards a scalable solution that works across all your stores.

    Light up your store with innovation


    Like retail, the world of lighting is evolving. LED and Internet of Things (IoT) technology open up new ways to influence shopper experience while strengthening brand image.

    For example, catching the attention of digital natives is made easier with dynamic lighting, part of Interact Retail Scene management. Eral 55, a high-end men’s fashion store located in Milan, made a powerful impact with their shop window display. Resulting in an 11% increase in people stopping, plus a 19% increase in footfall, it’s clear that dynamic lighting matches shoppers’ expectations of new and exciting little surprises.

    MediaMarktSaturn has bridged the online and offline shopping experience by integrating its existing StoreGuide app with Interact Retail Indoor navigation. A highly accurate indoor positioning system directs shoppers to within 30 centimeters of the product they want, so that wasting time searching for items is now a thing of the past.
    Handheld scanners by trusted partner Zebra also integrate with Interact Retail Indoor navigation to add proivde personalized experiences throughout the shopper journey. The Zebra integration helps customers find products throughout the supermarket, serves as a personal shopping list, and offers coupons and promotions tailored to individual customers based on their shopping habits and activities.
    Implementing the latest technology is a must-have in today’s highly competitive retail landscape. In fact, 68% of retailers saying technology creates the competitive advantage they need to stay relevant. Clearly, innovation is paving the way for the future of retail.

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