We add things to our online shopping carts, we go grocery shopping online and get our food delivered to our doorsteps, workplaces and virtually anywhere. We can carry our wallets digitally via our smartphones and with a flash of the phone pay for a cup a coffee. These are examples of the consumerization of retail - the overarching driving force that paved the way for the radical change at the consumer’s fingertips.
Consumers are provided with more options with product availability and an array of accessibility due to technology. Businesses are constantly finding innovative ways to provide the customer with a seamless shopping process that goes beyond the traditional brick and mortar. In their research note Top Retail Business and Technology Trends, Gartner analysts John Davison and Miriam Burt highlight eight key business trends driven by the consumerization of retail and the impact of digitalization – two forces changing the landscape of the retail industry as we know it. Here we explore five of these trends:
No.1: Moving From Digitalization to the Blurring of Industries:
The ever-changing consumerization of retail gives rise to digitalization which transforms businesses. The retail processes that we’re accustomed to changes as technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), create new revenue opportunities and convenient offerings to consumers. Digitally empowered customers will expect the retailer to sustain interactions with them that are connected, continuous, convenient, contiguous, consistent, collaborative and customized. The blurring of industries is a result of the disruption that the digital business opportunities bring.
No.2: Achieving a Contiguous Multichannel Shopping Experience
Multichannel retailing allows customers the convenience of having different options to buy products. This technology has made the store even more crucial in providing consumers a “Contiguous Multichannel Shopping Experience.” While retailers struggle with achieving this seamlessness for customers, they recognize the value of it and continue to work towards making it contiguous. As of the first quarter of 2015, retailers believe that 49.8 percent of a store’s revenue is influenced by activity from their e-commerce and mobile commerce channels.
No. 3: Making Customer Collaboration a Core Competence to Drive Digital Business Models
In order for retail businesses to survive, retailers need to collaborate with their customers. With consumers now having access to the same digital technologies businesses utilize, they’re able to influence and share innovative ideas to the business model. Two of the most popular customer-led models are collaborative influencing, where consumers use the power of social media to inspire other consumers, and collaborative consumption, where consumers collaborate over content and physical assets.