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Technology trends impacting the retail industry—the digital consumer is in the driver’s seat. The technology retailers implement today is going to play an instrumental role in how they accommodate future demand and expectations.
Technology has transformed tremendously in the last five years and so have customer expectations. Looking ahead, technology changes will have an even greater influence on the relationship between the customer and the retailer—online, in store, on their mobile device.
Some may view these changes as huge challenges. We prefer to think of them as opportunities; opportunities for retailers to consider technology as an enabler of providing richer experiences. Appealing to the digital consumer will be the differentiator and help retailers stand out among a sea of online and offline competitors.
Five Stories of a Future Shaped by Technology Each of the five stories below are examples of what a retailer of the future could do to meet the demand of the digital consumer.
Paths to InnovationEvery retailer is at a different place along the journey. Staying ahead of the curve is crucial, but a digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. In the Paths to Innovation diagram, we break down the road map into three “waves,” where retailers can pause, measure progress and plan next steps.
For more detail, view each of the stories below:
View our Seamless Retail Technology Point of View for further information on what retailers can do today to keep up with technology trends.
Retailers are at different points in the journey to realizing the vision of being truly seamless—maximizing the power and promise of technology across channels and across the enterprise. But how can a retailer quickly move from what’s now to what’s next, capturing some of the differentiating capabilities outlined in the retail stories?
The pace of technology is accelerating, and the barrier to entry is lowering. It’s no longer enough to be friendly with customers, have good industry connections or have a presence in the most desirable shopping area in town.
Every retailer must be a digital retailer to outpace competitors and appeal to the unique wants and needs of today’s customer.
These paths to innovation illustrate—at a high level—where retailers should focus efforts to build a competitive edge for the future. Progression will be dependent on the specific business needs of each retailer, but we believe each retailer will travel through three distinct waves, ideally as quickly as possible.
Each “wave” of the seamless journey presents a critical milestone and point in time where the retailer should assess and plan next steps. Key considerations for each of those waves include:
No matter where a retailer is on the journey, the finish line is always out front. By getting started today and following the paths to innovation, any retailer can take the lead into the future.
October 31, 2013
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