The Future Includes Tailored Consumer Experiences, Anytime, Any Place, with Robots
According to new insights released by CBRE this week at the MAPIC retail real estate conference in Cannes, France, the retail industry of 2030 will provide tailored experiences for individual customers across any channel, at any place and at any time using data analytics and new technology. These changes will have a profound impact on the global retail property sector as well.
CBRE’s Future of Retail | 2030 series examines 40 “futurist” insights of how the global retail market will function in 2030 amid changes in customers’ lifestyles, urban environments, retail operations logistics, technologies and other trends affecting the industry. After outlining the first eight trends at MAPIC, CBRE will reveal the next 32 over the coming weeks.
“The future of retail will change more than we can ever imagine,” said Natasha Patel, CBRE Director, Global Retail Research. “At CBRE, We have taken the time to think about what will change and what that will mean for customers, retailers, investors and the industry as a whole.”
Many of CBRE’s initial eight insights in this series revolve around two major themes shaping the retail industry: the melding of online and in-store functions into omnichannel operations, and an increasing focus on providing shoppers meaningful experiences around the goods and services they purchase.
“We as a society already have advanced beyond defining retailing simply as selling a product at a store,” said Anthony Buono, CBRE Executive Managing Director of Retail Advisory & Transaction Services, the Americas. “Today’s best retailers are at the forefront of these trends that we’re pointing out. They’re harnessing data and technology to provide each customer a compelling experience with their brand, be it in-store, online or on their smart phone.”
Initial eight retailing insights reported by CBRE this week include:
- Power of Prediction – Retailers will enlist technology and data to predict consumers’ buying behavior with unprecedented accuracy. Many mundane purchases of everyday essentials will be automated through Internet-connected appliances and other such tools, making physical shopping more of a social and leisure experience.
- Consumer Experience Goes Individual – Retailers and brands will use predictive analytics to tailor their goods and services – and the experiences that go with them — to specific customers rather than broad audiences. This will lead to a greater focus on niche retailers and shopping centers that capture a larger portion of spending from a smaller, likeminded community of shoppers.
- Stores As Brand Ambassadors – As retailers increasingly combine their in-store and online operations, physical stores will serve as venues where shoppers immerse themselves in the brand’s experience and experiment with the products before purchasing them for same-day or next-day delivery to the store or their homes. Store employees will educate shoppers and demonstrate products for them rather than stocking shelves and taking inventory.
- Unrivalled Reach of M-Commerce – Technology will allow shoppers to research and purchase an item simply by capturing a picture of it. Shoppers will find direct links to a given product wherever they see it, be it on television, in a newspaper or magazine or at a movie theater.
- Pure-Play E-tailing Recedes – Retailers born of bricks and mortar already account for at least half of online sales, while those started online are adding physical stores to strengthen their brands. This convergence will create a truly omnichannel retail industry in which global online brands purchase more retail chains for their physical store networks, and online retailing further influences the form and function of the physical store.
- Stiff Competition For Customers – As shoppers increasingly favor experiences over goods, competition will intensify to capture their disposable income. Consumers will seek either long-term or short-term solutions, leaving the middle market squeezed.
- Store Automation – Mundane, repetitive tasks in the store will be handled by robots and other forms of automation, freeing store employees to work as brand ambassadors. Automation also will allow auto-pay service so shoppers no longer must stop at a checkout counter on their way out.
- Personal Car Ownership Declines – Autonomous vehicles will shift people’s priorities to simply having access to cars rather than owning one. Car manufacturers will collaborate with major tech companies.