In the Midst of Transformation, a Time to Rethink Retail

Jon Stine
Jon Stine
Guest Contributor

Shoppers continue to spend more than ever, it’s just they make decisions on their spend very differently, forcing brands to re-think retail in this new era of shopper empowerment.

It’s a few, very short weeks to the official launch of the Holiday 2017 season.

And, just a few weeks more to NRF 2018, the annual gathering of retail’s finest in mid-town Manhattan.

Time to take a deep breath.

And to re-think retail.

Yes, rethink retail.

First of all, let’s level set on the state of the industry. Look beyond store closures and headlines, and you’ll see shoppers spending money. The National Retail Federation projects year-on-year U.S. 2017 Holiday sales growth of between 3.6 and 4.0 percent, with roughly $680 billion rolling through retail tills in November and December.

It’s just that shoppers are making their decisions in different ways. And, spending it different places.

Which means it’s time to rethink retail.

  • It’s time to rethink the store. As shoppers increasingly research and buy online, the capabilities you offer – and the data you gather and analyze – has to change. Is your inventory accurate enough to confidently promise an online shopper an in-store pick-up? Do you know store traffic and conversion as well as you know it online? Are your stores digitized?
  • It’s time to rethink the core value proposition. The classic 4 P’s are still the bedrock of retailing, but more and more it’s all about … Ease … Convenience … Speed. Friction-free and think-for-me Can you meet and exceed the ever-rising expectations of today’s shoppers?
  • It’s time to rethink technology-enabled solutions. And, time to say goodbye to silo’d one-offs. In this age of rapid innovation (and ever-accelerating competition), you need an integrated, holistic approach – one that delivers value today, and one you can build upon tomorrow. Do your innovations fit together? Make a seamless whole? Create value short- and long-term?

Time to rethink retail. Lastly, it’s time to consider the Acuitas Digital alliance. Six technology leaders. British Telecom. RetailNext. Sato Global Solutions. NexGen Packaging. Valmarc Corporation. And, Intel.

Together to provide a modular, pre-configured, and holistic path to the value of the new digital store.

We’ll be at NRF. Make plans to come talk to us.

About the writer: Jon Stine leads Intel’s global sales and strategy for the retail, hospitality and consumer goods industry sectors. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Join the #retail and #SmartStore conversations on Twitter @RetailNext & @Acuitas Digital.