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Trends in Retail


Today I had the pleasure of delivering a webinar in collaboration with Mediformplus sobre tendencias on trends in the retail sector.


There has been much discussion about the future of retail, and it has gone through various phases in analyzing what lies ahead:

  • PHASE 1: Ignoring the impact of digitization on traditional business operations and customer relationships/experiences.

  • PHASE 2: Not paying attention to the entry of pure online players and how they, with a completely different mindset, are generating disruptive experiences.

  • PHASE 3: The false perception that physical retail is dead, doomed to disappear from our streets, and the resulting frenzy of everyone trying to find their way in the digital environment, often without a clear strategy and with approaches that do not align with the type of business and its limitations.

But ultimately, the future of retail does not involve eliminating channels but rather harmonizing them, working on the concept of "omniexperience," which is important to understand as more than just being present on multiple channels (omnichannel)... And that has been one of the problems in the sector when the alarm bells rang. We rushed to open interaction channels: websites, apps, chat, IMS, "humanless" screens... but without being able to think holistically about the customer experience—what, how, and when...


So, when we talk about trends, we can discuss websites, intelligent shelves, AI, heatmaps, cluster analysis, and so on. But fundamentally, there are three key pillars that, from my point of view, everything revolves around:


PILLAR 1: CUSTOMER UNDERSTANDING

  • Merchant spirit

  • Being able to capture and maintain data

  • Transforming data into information and using it for decision-making that adds value to customers and the business.

  • Understanding customers' motivations beyond demographic segmentation.

PILLAR 2: DIGITALIZATION/CONNECTIVITY

  • Omnichannel approach... technology as a means, never as an end.

  • Technology, yes, but being aware of our limitations/resources.

  • Integration of the offline and online worlds... integrated channels... creating harmonious experiences.

  • Extending the customer lifecycle by increasing interaction and value.

PILLAR 3: CREATING EXPERIENCES

  • Experience as a driver of differentiation.

  • Experiences are not about creating amusement parks.

  • They should be aligned with our brand positioning.

  • They should take into account different customer typologies.

  • They should create value for both the business and the consumer.

And from there, we move on to the tactical phase... How do we specifically implement it in our business?... but always under a consolidated strategic approach... otherwise, we run the risk of ending up with a myriad of disconnected actions that don't contribute anything to any of the parties involved. I'm attaching the link to the webinar presentation (it's in Spanish, sorry), but in case you're interested, feel free to take a look...



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