Several major trends are driving radical changes to the retail landscape today. Some, but certainly not all, of the more provocative new directions in retail include:
- Merging of the digital into the physical
- Store becomes a marketing channel, not a distribution channel
- Application of entertainment and other approaches to physical retail spaces
- Adoption of new connected digital technologies
- The role of the Internet of Things in delivering new customer experiences and giving retailers new insight into their customer behavior and preferences
- Data collection and analysis for streamlining store operations
- Data collection and analysis for increasing customer engagement and intimacy
- Predictive analysis and the changing conceptions of privacy
Retail is now undergoing a metamorphosis that extends far beyond the changes that we have already seen in the transition to physical shopping to online shopping. The transformation of the retail industry is complex and is moving in many directions at once.
This report takes a view over the current situation in retail, and surveys a few key developments: the transformation of the brick-and-mortar store, the shifting balance between the physical and the digital, the new non-linear customer journey, the growing influence of the Internet of Things, and importance and challenges of collecting customer data.