“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
Retail is changing, as an industry, as a business and even as a concept. The rapidly evolving dynamics of demographics, emerging markets and raw materials, disruptive technologies, changing lifestyles and consumer expectations are some of the key elements to bring about this change. As the renowned scholar is quoted above, these conditions cease to be a challenge if retailers actively participate in building new self-sustaining retail ecosystems that explore opportunities to convert people not sales.
“Leading retailers will be those that are the best conversationalists and are good at listening to their shoppers’ needs, along with communicating a secure and self-confident image to their consumers. They will need to re-act quickly, be where the shopper is and offer relevant messaging all in the timeframe that is important to the customer.” says Al Meyers, Director of Retail and Consumer Practice, PwC.
Citing a Jones Lang LaSalle Report – Real developments will come through new ideas and a more sophisticated execution of those ideas. Consumers want emotion and they want realness; a poor imitation will fall flatter than a bad joke. They want local and global, they want ethical, they want smooth seamlessness, they want great design. They want more authenticity and they want more lively change.
Naresh Ahuja, Chairman & CEO, ETP Group , represented similar views at the 5th Annual Retail Congress Asia Pacific 2015. During the panel session, he elaborated on how customer experience and satisfaction, in the final mile of fulfilment, is one of the most critical factors for retailers.