What’s driving change in the future of retail?

Retail is a rapidly evolving sector. But what are the main forces driving change in the future of retail? Getting cluey about what is shaping the mould when it comes to the future of retail helps you better forward-plan and prepare for industry step changes. Not to mention stealing a march on competitors. Design Clarity is here to help you kick such goals with our DC Insights series. In this instalment of DC Insights, we look at what recent research has dubbed the top five drivers of change in the future of retail:

1. Convenience
Consumers have increasingly less time so they are demanding increasing retail convenience. There is great diversity in the times, locations and channels through which different consumers shop. The future of retail means that retailers must respond with vastly enhanced accessibility. Technology, streamlined store design and stock control efficiencies will all be foundation stones to delivering next generation consumer convenience.

2. Get personal while respecting privacy
A meticulous balancing act is driving change in the future of retail: that between enriching personal retail experiences and protection of consumer privacy. Privacy regulations continue to be tight. Yet at the same time, insightful consumer behaviour and demographic data is key to enabling retailers to craft those highly personal consumer experiences. A rethink of data gathering together with potential personalisation of retail spaces themselves will be part of the future retail landscape. Again, technology will play a key role here too.

3. Two-way retail intelligence
Information is the name of the game in the future of retail. Both retailers and consumers alike are going to have access to far more revealing retail intelligence going forward, thanks once more to technological advancement. Such intelligence could propel retailers into personalised promotions, adaptive pricing and huge strides forward in real-time decision-making.

4. Flex that interior muscle
Inertia has no place in the future of retail. Physical retail spaces must be kept flexible, fresh and engaging – but consumers must not be overwhelmed by such frenetic change that they simply can’t keep pace. Herein lies another juggling act. Retailers must strike the balance between flexible engrossing retail experiences and enough consistency to remain dependable to consumers.

5. Let it all hang out
Offer up your customer reviews, supply chain and retail processes for close scrutiny by your consumers. In today’s information age, consumers research their prospective purchases to the inth degree. So as a retailer you need to volunteer the information they are looking for – but of course you must also be sure that the information you’re offering up stands up to the scrutiny.

So there you have it. Five of the chief influencers in the future of retail. Now you’re across it, you can integrate your newfound information into your future planning. That will help to place you ahead of the game. If you need some help, Design Clarity is here to offer you strategic advice and expertise that will support you in becoming a pace-setter in the future of retail.