Originally posted on the Business Insider today, we thought we’d share Doug Stephens’, 10 predictions for how retails will change this year.
Founder of industry website, Retail Prophet and author of ‘The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism’, said, “We will see more disruption in the next ten years of retail than we did in the previous one thousand.”
Here is his list, shared with Business Insider:
1. Companies are researching you in unprecedented ways.
“German neurobiologists are mapping brain waves in response to product pricing and uncovering some highly counterintuitive insights into how the human brain perceives pricing and value … Retailers now have an unprecedented capacity to use technology and data to deliver intelligence, not about what consumers say they’ll do, but about what they actually do.”
2. Same-day (or hour) delivery will become common.
Amazon has been testing 30-minute drone delivery, which, although the idea of delivering goods via robots may seem outlandish, according to Stephens, consumer will come to expect it. Competing with online retail, physical stores might start using their locations as distribution centres, Stephens writes.
3. Traditional stores will have the same analytic intelligence as online.
“Their knowledge of who is in the store; where they move in the space; and the products they interact with, will all be instantly and continually calculated … When we walk into a physical store, our browsing history will follow us and inform our physical shopping experience.”
4. Media companies will start selling products.
The media’s traditional role as an advertiser is shifting, and companies are starting to sell the products themselves. “TV shows will generate revenue by selling products, not merely advertising them—offsetting declining demand for the 30 second commercial.”
5. The “new Industrial Revolution” will advance.
Low-paying companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart will begin to automate tasks whenever possible in response to strikes demanding better wages. This is already at work, with Wal-Mart installing 10,000 self-checkout systems. McDonald’s Europe installed 7,000 touchscreens this year.
6. The lines between online and offline commerce will blur.
Stephens says that brands launching ‘digital storefronts’, allowing customers to order items for same day delivery, is an easy way for retailers to impress shoppers.
“Not only do these installations add an element of surprise and variety for shoppers but they also allow brands to set up shop in opportune and often less conventional locations…They need no inventory and apart from periodic technical support, they require no staffing.”
7. Privacy will become a business.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about their privacy while shopping online, and will begin to pay for services that keep them anonymous. Additionally, retailers are going to have to do more to reassure customers that their purchasing data is safe.
8. People won’t care as much about ownership.
As the middle class hollows out and culture shifts toward living with less, consumers will evaluate their purchases more closely.
“Cars, homes, household items and appliances, and vacation homes will increasingly be shared.”
9. Social feedback will factor into purchases.
Nordstrom recently launched a program where it displays merchandise that’s popular on Pinterest more prominently. This will become more popular this year, as shoppers seek out reviews and opinions from other consumers.
10. Prices could change multiple times in one hour.
Retailers will begin to test out “dynamic pricing” in stores, allowing them the same competitive advantage as websites like Amazon and Priceline.
“Expect to see incorporation of other data such as weather, competitive pricing and even items already in the customer’s shopping cart.”