Let us imagine a shopping trip that is 100% connected: Connected to the store, connected to all the product specifications (details, price, availability…) and connected to consumer experience. What would it be like?
The traditional way of shopping will be gone. Imagine full-body scanners that measure your size and advise you on the clothes that best fit your body; imagine changing-room mirrors that provide style advice and propose a perfect accessory; imagine virtual projections in changing-rooms that advise and allow shoppers to try on clothes without getting undressed – and imagine getting a phone message when you arrive in a store that simply says “Welcome” or “We have special offers for you today”. Change is already here and more is on the way.
The point-of-sales will change the way it operates. The boom in technology, economic conditions and the increasing trend in “sustainable consumptions” are changing a consumer’s shopping behavior and expectations. Over the next 15 years a new picture of retailing will emerge. The hyper-connected world has changed the game of retailing forever. Consequently, retailers will have to cope with a challenging reality: change or become obsolete. Many brands are ready to take on the challenge of a connected retail world. For example, one high-tech retailer invites customers to scan staff uniforms so that they can continue their conversation at home. A famous cosmetic brand is testing consumer experience with make-up apps by letting virtually consumers try more than 300 cosmetic products. Another example is a store in Seattle which does not have clothes in racks or piles; its shop is like an art gallery where only one piece of each article is displayed. Consumers then use their smartphones to tag the item, select a size and color, and the items are then waiting for them in the changing-room. All this will indeed simplify the shopping trip of the future.
All these changes are the result of an increase in customer expectations. As Stuart Rose, the former CEO of M&S and Chairman of Ocado, said “The consumer is not king, he is master of the universe.” The customer makes the rules and retailers have to react. Consumers will not give you a second opportunity regarding fit, speed, delivery or returns. You will have to know your customer, to adapt to the customer and ensure a high channel convergence (anything, anywhere, anytime). This will be possible thanks to close collaboration between the retailer and technology solution providers who will take on the challenge together. By 2025, the consumer and you as a retailer will be constantly connected.
This is exciting and is happening now. What is your vision of the future and your connected retail consumer experience? Retail technology solutions will increasingly become a tool, providing a seamless and intense experience across the channels; a place where consumers can test, research, compare, look again, and order for home delivery or from a buy in-store. Together, we can already take on the “digital store” challenge by developing innovative retail solutions applications for tomorrow in order to transform your customer shopping experience and meet your customer’s digital expectations.
Visit us at Fujitsu Forum 2015 in order to find out how Fujitsu can support you in this new connected shopping experience challenge.