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Retail has changed more in the last 5 years than the 25 years before that. Today’s retail is multi-dimensional, it must comprise of a whole ecosystem of virtual, digital and physical expressions of a brand. The future of retail is literally in the palm of your hands. 

Shoppers have never before had such complexity to their shopping journey. The new shopper journey changes each and every time we shop. We navigate our own way through shopping experiences and can buy anything and everything at the tap of a key. With the swipe of a screen we browse, pin, tweet, buy, compare products and provide star ratings.

And it’s been tough for retailers to get their head around ‘New Retail’. They have absolutely no control, the portability of devices and data means shoppers eAccess when and where they need it.

Shopping is truly on my terms.

To survive in this new, complex, content-rich world and to convert shoppers into loyal advocates, it takes more than traditional retailing. This presents a wonderful challenge for retail, there's no longer a strict rule book dictating what you should or shouldn’t do. The new and changing customer groups combined with advances in technology mean there are new opportunities to understand customer’s needs and provide innovative solutions.

Solutions = disruption

Let's review 5 key retail trends that are disrupting the way we think about and engage with retail:

  1. Coopetition
  2. The Transformation Economy
  3. Total Retail
  4. Enriched Engagement
  5. Social Community

1. Coopetition

Coopetition is a combination of “cooperative” and “competition” an alternative development model that drives competition and innovation. 

The basis of the strategy lies in assessing the advantages of competitors joining forces and working together, in order to gain more market share (Source SearchCIO). The ultimate aim of coopetition is that rival organisations pool their knowledge and skills in order to co-innovate, boost their ecosystem and create value.

Retail example: The Amazon Model: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Work with ’Em

Amazon is leading the way with innovative solutions to purchasing and engaging with product, services and brands, much of this development has been done in coopetition with with brand partners. Interactive product innovations include:

  • The Amazon Dash Wand -  a Wi-Fi connected device that allows users to build a shopping list by scanning bar codes and saying product names out loud. It connects directly with AmazonFresh, the company's online grocery delivery service

  • Amazon Echo - a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. You can also use Alexa to directly purchase product. All you have to do is ask.



2. The Transformation Economy

The 5th phase beyond the Experience Economy, the transformation economy elevates your brand love to an entirely new level.

The Transformation Economy is the exchange of cash for goods or services that could considerably improve the quality of life of the consumer who buys them for the long term.

Retail example: Nike

The combination of Nike's shoes, gear, the Nike+ app and Running Clubs enable you to become more than just a loyal customer, you become part of a community, encouraged to be a better runner and athlete. 


3. Total Retail

A nimble, seamless, holistic ecosystem that is delivering frictionless shopper experience across many different touchpoints.

Some are calling this Hybrid Retailing.

This wave of exceptional operators may have started with pure play stores, but have transitioned seamlessly into bricks and mortar.

The in-store experience is often built around the mobile and digitally-connected consumer and embraces the “on my terms” shopper who may research online and then purchase in the store, or “touch and feel” the merchandise in the store and purchase online later.

Retail example: Bonobos

The mens clothing retailer is the largest clothing brand ever built on the web and they are all about delivering the perfect fit. Their expansion into bricks and mortar is via Guide Shops, where their knowledgable guides will take you through their entire assortment, service Ninjas will find you the perfect fit and order your product for delivery to your home, (a true showroom - you can't purchase anything from the store). And any returns or exchanges are are free of charge. 

bonobos 2

4. Enriched Engagement

This trend is being embraced in a big, big way at every touchpoint on the path to purchase.

It is all about delivering engaging retail experiences – from selling to seduction

  • Authentically

  • With meaning

  • Delivered seamlessly

  • Personalised and with relevancy

Retail example: Shinola

Shinola is an American brand based in Detroit that embodies the values of enriched engagement. Shinola's story is fabulously authentic; their mission is to reinvigorate not only a city, but an entire manufacturing industry. The brand delivery comes together seamlessly in beautifully curated retail experiences, where customers can shop and grab a coffee while their purchases are personalised for the added touch of luxury.


shinola 2 

5. Social Community

Shoppers today are social souls seeking trust and meaningful experiences - they want to feel proud of their tribe. This is about creating genuine connections, sharing and building a community.

Retail example: The Store - Berlin and UK

Operating at the crossroads of art, culture, lifestyle and fashion, The Store offers a new kind of retail, creative and social experience. The Store brings together a like-minded community of designers, artists and those that enjoy refined luxury. In a variety of incredible spaces, you are encouraged to experience a creative edit of fashion, furniture, music, art and books by simply hanging out and enjoying the space - browse, eat, read, play music and work amongst the ranges of product.

The Store Berlin features male and female grooming salons, alongside food from The Store Kitchen and exclusive events at The Store Studios, for the ultimate delivery of a community space.

the store 1

the store 2

New Retail is all about engagement and connection through delivery of seamless solutions and meaningul experiences.

To achieve this your brand essence needs to be uncomplicated, distinctive and personal.

What are you doing differently to understand the new shopper journey? 

If you would like to know more about retail trends, insights and the new shopper's journey, please contact Lisa Donaldson at the Retail Collective.

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