Retail customers are becoming increasingly demanding in a world that is changing at an unprecedented rate.

The existing configuration of traditional shops no longer meets our expectations. We are less willing to spend as much time in brick and mortar shops as we did in the past. The question is what retail innovations should companies adopt to keep customers interested and motivated to buy.

We received this brief from a major player in the retail industry.  Our innovation consultants were invited to build a plan for a radical transformation of their existing operations.

Problem identification

The problem with brick and mortar shops is the low cadence of change. New shops open a couple of times per year, customers get used to them and interest starts to fade. This traditional approach to doing retail is expensive, inherently irresponsive, and, as a result, shops become predictable and boring.

Masterclass in Retail Transformation | by Opinno

For a thorough understanding of the brief, we decided to do extended research. Firstly, we identified the main trends in the industry. Secondly, we analyzed how digitization has influenced buying behavior (why, where and how customers are more likely to buy). This data was instrumental in identifying the real problems and coming up with an action plan.

We decided the company needed to implement the Agile framework to increase efficiency, keep costs down, and stay relevant for the new generations of shoppers.

Why we recommended the implementation of the Agile framework

  1. Customers value speed and novelty. According to a 2017 Fitch study, “Millennials are shopping in a constant state of partial attention.” They want their product when, where and how they want it. Millennials love change and expect new releases weekly, one of the reasons why fast fashion has become so popular;

  2. Generations Y and Z value, more than any other generations, choice. According  to Christian Davies, creative, and veteran in the retail innovation sector, "the new customer expectations are rewriting the rules of demand and supply";

  3. The attention span of the average customer is 8 seconds.  Companies that want to win the retail game have to adapt by creating unique in-shop experiences, innovative shop design, excellent customer service, and a flawless system of delivery and returns;

  4. Customers want to be involved in the creation of a product. Companies have adapt to this need and build the infrastructure that allows your clients to customize the design, labels, the product formula, etc.

  5. Testing is a prerequisite for buying, especially if the purchase is substantial. Creating pop-up shops and living labs, spaces where your customers can spend a few hours to test your products but also understand your brand culture has proven to be an effective way to lure customers in shops.

Conclusion

The take away of this Masterclass was “Keep your company in a constant state of beta.” Learn from the new generations, stay up to date with the trends, understand consumer habits and adapt accordingly.