The new retail strategy you may be missing

The future of retail is now. Consumers are ushering in new behaviors and expectations that are changing the face of how retail is viewed for business. Technologies are creating competitive landscapes like we’ve never experienced before. 

To grow into or maintain leadership positions, companies need to leverage these trends to their full advantage. Only by adopting a new perspective and mindset can a business grow to reach their full potential.

By 2020, the business experience will become the number one driver in consumer purchase decisions - surpassing both price and product efficacy.
— Walker

The role of retail is shifting from moments of shopping and transaction to a more robust value exchange. Consumers will no longer go through poor experiences to purchase products and services that don’t offer more. They’ll no longer be steadfast in one shopping methodology. They’ll continue to expect more from the companies they purchase from - shifting the value from product or price to the entirety of the experience. To capitalize on this transformation, retail leaders will deliver experiences that are lead by strategy and enabled by technology. Retail leaders will:

Develop a new strategy

The strategy for retail moving forward isn’t solely based on driving more sales through acquisition or retention, but increasing the value of and for each consumer. A strategy rooted in value exchange puts an emphasis on the consumer like never before - which includes product / service mix, purchase channels and technology enablement. 

Lead with the consumer experience

The strategic value exchange will go beyond products and services and move throughout the entire consumer experience - forcing businesses to reevaluate how they go to market. By leading with the consumer experience - everything from shopping to buying to purchasing to owning - retail leaders have the power to find new ways to service their consumer and opportunities for revenue growth. 

Make business decisions based on data

The successes of direct-to-consumer and retail startups like Casper and Warby Parker have been driven by a lot of trends, but none more foundational than data-driven decision making. Even as these companies are crossing the chasm from e-commerce to brick and mortar, they are making their location, product mix, messaging and partnership strategies with a deliberate use of data - increasing their opportunities for success in their endeavors. 

Connect & converge channels 

The consumer goes in and out of channel and conversation more often than ever before. The only difference is now they expect a consistent and progressive relationship with the companies they purchase from. Retail leaders will build consumer journeys for their most valuable segments and use their data and touch points to connect into a single experience. Brick and mortar will be more digitally connected and e-commerce will react to the consumer’s location for the best inventory and delivery options - all driven by the consumer data and their preferences. 

Test new business models

Retail startups aren’t disrupting the industry by taking massive amounts of market share, they are disrupting by changing the expectations and behaviors of consumers. This is largely due to the evolution and innovation of retail business models. Dollar Shave Club didn’t have better razors, but a better business model to purchase razors. Casper doesn’t necessarily have a better mattress, but their purchase and distribution business model is ideal  for consumers. Retail leaders will start to test new business models to find ways to make the consumer’s life better while driving incremental value and revenue for the business.

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