The retail landscape is changing. With access to more information than ever before, the connected consumer holds the power – they are more knowledgeable, with increased options and higher expectations.
In this challenging market, the future of physical stores is deemed to be bleak, with roughly a third of malls closing in recent years and a further 15% predicted to close in the next 10 years.
Despite this downward trend, physical retail is not dying. Rather, its role is evolving from sales to experience. Technology is a key driver in this transformation. However, as retailers seek to keep up with the pack and deliver against digital retail with new innovations, the emotion of the retail experience is often sacrificed. The key to creating human-centred retail experiences lies in five guiding principles; be invisible, be seamless, be personal, be a destination, and be authors.
Technology must be used to empower the experience: empower the customer to shop on their terms, empower the store associates to provide an elevated level of service, and empower the development of lasting relationships. As facial recognition advances and the adoption of emotional artificial intelligence grows, the unity of technology and emotion in retail will become increasingly important.
Simon Jefferson, Managing Director, and Jon Freshwater, Client Director, featured in Forbes, August 2017. Read more about the future of retail here.