Today’s changing retail environment is proving to be a major test of marketers’ agility.
It is no secret that the convenience of online shopping has drawn customers away from traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. Walking from store to store in search of the perfect outfit or gift has transformed, in many cases, into jumping from website to website, credit card in hand. Along with this major transformation has come many difficult adjustments.
The role of the store itself is being re-defined in our modern age, as traditional storefronts turn into immersive showrooms and leisure destinations, and much more. Retailers, and specifically mall operators, are aiming for more experiential elements, while foregoing traditional anchors for more entertainment-based locations like movie theaters and gyms.
GfK’s FutureBuy® data shows that people who shop in brick-and-mortar stores do so because they can physically see the product before they buy, they shop there routinely and they get “instant gratification” by getting the products much sooner. When they shop online, however, the reasons tend to be saving money, better selection and the overall ease of shopping.
Given these dramatic changes, marketers need to play to the strengths of traditional retail stores – and keep a few key lessons in mind.
Disruptive times call for staying attuned with consumers’ changing needs and lifestyles. We are at the brink of the 4th industrial revolution, which will undoubtedly shape the future of many aspects of consumers’ lives, including how we shop. Thus, the time for keeping a close eye on new technologies and innovating for the future has never been better.
Jola Burnett is a Vice President on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trends and forecasting
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