Technology is changing and will keep changing

January 28, 2016

There are so many changes out there for people in business and leaders in business must act now. I’ll just talk on technology for now. It almost feels like some people in business have got this belief that they can white knuckle their way through what is going to be a five year change. Whereas virtually everyone I know who is working in the technology industry, their assumption is that we’ve got about 70 years of disruption or change ahead of us, so you cannot white knuckle your way through it.

You cannot look at something and say, “I just need to get over this mobile thing and then the world going to go back to this happy calm place”, because as soon as we’re over the mobile, there will be wearables, there will be cloud finally really kicking in”.

Sweating the Mall Stuff

Everyone in retail knows that the internet is changing their business. But how will this wave of change play out? A recent Global Total Retail Survey sees four forces disrupting the industry:

  • Smarter Shops:   It argues retailers need to do more to keep customers coming back. It suggests stores can become “experimental venues” where customers can see and touch the product. Or they can just add convenience. Turkey’s Migros supermarket chain has kiosks where customers can browse and buy items not physically in stock.
  • Mobile Appraisal:  Consumers are buying via smartphone more than ever before. But retailers also pointed to the stock-checking. Store-finding and other purchase activity happening through smartphones, even when people buy in the store.
  • Social Media:  Although it has a way to go, the use of social chat during purchasing is on the rise. The survey points to Stylinity, whose apps let customers photograph themselves wearing items in store, scan the barcode to upload details, then share the images with friends.
  • Demographics:  The new wave of customers aged 18-24 has never known the world without the internet, and smartphones and social media are their natural communication channels. While e-commence lets us shop from home 24/7, it’s unlikely to replace the physical store anytime soon. Customers still need a physical store to try on merchandise. And most online product research still ends with a visit to a bricks-and-mortar outlet. Or will it? The survey also reports that Russian fashion retailer Lamoda delivers to homes, allows customers to try on clothes, then takes away what they don’t want. There’s a lot of retail’s future still to come.

The key question is what are we doing to address this massive shift in how consumers are now thinking and how business will be run in the future.

Your business will not be immune to this shift.  Don’t be left behind.

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