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The future of Retail is in your own story

The current digital revolution in Retail is as profound as the industrial revolution with the only difference being that it started with the consumer. It started on the consumption side and expectations of the consumer continue to increase.

“if you deliver a product to me you have to please me…I have to be inspired when you interact with me”.

In order to please consumers, retailers need to improve their infrastructure, invest in more efficient supply chains, and make their stores more attractive.

Why is it a great time to be a consumer?

Currently retailers are looking to their shops with the objective of creating an experience for their customers - they are trying to convey not only their basic retail offering, but a lifestyle and an image that makes consumers feel good by buying their products.

The future of retail is not just about technology anymore, it is about consumers. They want to control, to collaborate with each other and with brands. It is a new way of life where they want a deeper connection and successful retailers will have to move away from buying and selling transactions to interaction and intimacy. This will give them emotional competitive advantage. Participation is the new consumption, shifting from a monologue to a dialogue.

How do Retailers create a meaningful connection with their customers?

  1. Moving away from buying and selling to showing and telling - It is not anymore about deals and discounts. It is no longer about the transaction. It is about exploring the process, telling the story and creating the experience that captures the consumer.

  2. Moving away from selling merchandise to selling momentum – It is no longer just about selling merchandise. It is about selling a happy memory of the experience (the memory is in the product or in the service).

  3. Moving from product to platform - Create an ecosystem around the product that engages the customer. Nike for example is no longer a manufacturer and a retailer. It is also a provider of customised experience around health and well-being.

Retail is not a fixed experience anymore, it is about creating stories and translating them into a retail experience. Whether it is about events, lifestyle creation or media broadcasting, the future of retail is going to be owned by many types of brands and everybody is looking for physical space to engage with consumers.

In the future successful shops will be like a magazine, change like an art gallery, sell like a store, share like an app and entertain like a show. Consumers will become story owners rather that just product owners – they will be the protagonist of the story rather than the object of sales campaigns.

What is your view? Please share your comments, ideas and experience on the subject.


To work with me or for more on topics of relevance to Retail, email me at or follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter @thinkethandco

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