Retail in 2030: The Journey or the Destination?
Some say it’s derived from a Buddhist proverb, others attribute it to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but the saying, “Life is a journey, not a destination” may become an important mantra for retailers who want to thrive in the future. According to a recent article in The Street about the future of retail, by the year 2030 consumers will be “blown away” by a shopping experience that looks dramatically different from what we see today. And, from what the rest of the article implies, it will be that shopping experience that separates the winners from the losers. According to consumer financial services firm Synchrony, “Shoppers are reaching a tipping point around American consumption. Feelings of angst about acquiring too much ‘stuff’ is driving a shift toward purchasing experiences rather than things.”
But, if retailers want to survive until 2030 and beyond, they’ll have to start making changes now, and technology will be at the heart of that evolutionary process. RFID is one such technology that will be driving the retail sector into the future. It will influence almost every element of the retail business, from supply chain management to the customer experience.
RFID will enable the consumer in an entirely new way and help usher in a new era, one that adapts the shopping experience to the modern world. Social media integration, smart fitting with interactive mirrors, and omni-channel retail will engage the customer like never before. And it doesn’t stop there, some predict driverless cars and drones programmed to return items and deliver your online purchase from a nearby warehouse. Some even suggest consumers may be able to shop in hologram replicas of their favorite stores right from their living rooms.
So maybe another old (or new) proverb has also become relevant as retailers align their businesses for the future.
If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.
- Buddhist proverb? Or from Joseph Goldstein’s The Experience of Insight?