It all starts with a simple realization summarized in these words from Starbucks' TRYER Innovation Center Director Brent Cashell: “None of us are shopping the same way we were three years ago”. He then continues, “What we’re really trying to solve is the ‘pace of innovation’.” And that is what we are also going to try to solve during this session by understanding how retail is evolving and how you can continue to thrive in all the many ways customers want to do business with you.
• For one, we are seeing more acquisitions of physical stores by digital companies and vice versa. Do you know why? Because digital needs physical and physical needs digital. Why else would Amazon acquire Whole Foods and open Amazon Go stores? How about your business: are you leveraging both channels knowing that the power of combining the two is unassailable?
• Then, we are seeing growth in showrooming and retailers’ right-sizing their brick and mortar and focusing on services rather than hard selling. Target, Sephora and Kohl’s are just a few of the retailers who are responding to customers’ changing shopping patterns with smaller, tech-enabled spaces that provide shoppers with a more efficient experience. How is your business tech-enabled to deliver on customer expectations for an efficient shopping experience?
• Augmented reality (AR) is also continuing to grow as retailers leverage the technology to engage shoppers more deeply. IKEA has adopted it fully and with great success and so have Lowe’s and Home Depot. What about you?
• You have certainly heard of Conversational Commerce (think Alexa or Google Home) which makes it convenient, fast and efficient for the customer to shop - and for the seller to learn about their customers’ preferences and develop powerful personalized marketing strategies. Time to start collecting precious customer data while giving the customer the ‘conversational option’ that they want?
• Partnerships and collaboration are also becoming more popular amongst businesses. Ikea and Task Rabbit, Ace Hardware and The Grommet, Kohl’s and Amazon are just a few examples of unusual partnerships for strategic purposes. Kohl’s and Amazon? Seriously? Aren’t they competitors? Yep! Yet, there is more than one reason for this ‘unusual’ collaboration.
Come to this session to get your answers on these and many more questions around the innovations that are happening all around us because just like at Starbucks, your biggest challenge moving forward is “solving the pace of innovation”.