10 Future Shopper Experience Megatrends

Steven Skinner of Cognizant examines big-picture insights emerging from an exclusive consumer study that offer clues to the future of retailing and the impact of shopper empowerment.

Thinking about the store as the center of the retail universe is a useful technique when creating retail strategy, especially if the vision it is connected to m-commerce and ultimately all other channels through mobile Internet devices, which, of course, are carried into stores.
But this vision doesn't convey a complete picture. What's missing is the shopper. What do shoppers like and dislike, and what tools and methods can retailers deploy to better give them what they want?
To answer these questions RIS News teamed up with Cognizant to publish the "First Annual 2010 Shopper Experience Study: Changing Priorities, Resetting Expectations." For this consumer research we polled more than 2,000 shoppers to learn about their likes and dislikes about the retail shopping experience. This story is just an excerpt of a comprehensive study that includes dozens of charts and key takeaways. To download a complete copy of the study click here.
Building on insights from the study and analyzing them for glimpses into the future of retailing, here are 10 major trends that will shape retail in 2011 and beyond.
1. Sales and Product Information via Mobile Phone
Shoppers will opt-in to networks that send them content-rich messages about product information, prices, promotions and special services.
2. Taking the Store to the Shopper
Retailers will bring thief full arsenal of capabilities to the shopper, regardless of location, whether the shopper is in the store, at home or walking in the park.
3. Distributed Order Management Integrates the Retailer
All Enterprises will integrate distributed order management across the enterprise to provide one view of customer orders regardless of channel.
4. Mobile Shopping (Finally) Comes of Age
Talked about since the turn of the century, this trend will be fueled by shopper acceptance, new technologies, increased network bandwidth, and retailer adoption that will increasingly become virtual.
5. Social Media and Product Development Collide
The product lifecycle management process will be integrated with social media feedback to improve relevance, increase speed to market, and reduce cost associated with creating products. Shoppers will be enabled to provide ideas for new product development, create their own products, and help determine how existing products can be improved.
6. Generation Y Changes the Behaviors of All Other Generations
The massive adoption of shopper-friendly technologies forces retailers and other generations to adapt to Generation Y shopping styles.
7. The Death of the Task Worker
In order to deal with the dramatic increase in shopper product knowledge, retailers will transform their workforces into knowledge-based workforces, dramatically increasing customer-facing labor hours and increasingly automating back-office tasks.
8. Real SKU Rationalization Takes Hold
Retailers will continue to dramatically reduce supplier and SKU counts. Cross-channel order management will enable retailers to rationalize SKU location – shipping slow-moving product into the warehouse or back to suppliers and increasing inventory for key items. Slow moving items will be made available through in-store kiosks or mobile check-out.
9. Shoppers Demand Consistent Cross-Channel Experiences
A siloed organization drives separate strategies and experiences – and this will be increasingly anathema to generation Y shoppers. Customer service, merchandising, pricing, inventory and supply chain business processes will be seamlessly integrated within the organization
10. Death of Static POS Becomes a Possibility
Increasing customer acceptance of out-of-queue check-out and mobile checkout, and the cost benefits associated with it, will enable retailers to finally have an alternative to the tyranny of massive, future POS investments. By-products include reduction of employee-based shrink, lower capital expenditures, increased sales per square foot, and reclaiming premium store space.
To download a complete copy of the study click here.
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