3 Cultural Shifts Molding the Retail Model of the Future
The traditional brick-and-mortar or e-commerce store of today won't exist in the next five years in their current form. Tremendous mobility and e-commerce technological advancements are supporting cultural shifts that change the way consumers shop and what they expect from retail stores. And, reciprocally, these consumer expectations are driving technological innovations that ultimately shape the way retailers choose to sell and deliver their products and services to consumers.
Here are three major cultural shifts that are molding the retail stores of tomorrow:
Consumers have always craved instant gratification. The difference is that it's actually attainable now more than ever. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have forever changed how we can quickly get from one place to another. Just a tap on a smartphone screen orders a car and allows people to watch mere seconds tick down until the driver arrives. If there's a wait that needs to be eliminated, there's an app to solve it for faster fast food and restaurant seating, instant maid service — even dates.
Online retailers like eBay and Amazon.com are following suit by broadening their same-day delivery capabilities. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is testing mobile-enabled click-and-collect services, where customers can order products online and drive to a local store to pick up their purchases. The retail giant also is exploring ways to use its stores as distribution centers for fulfilling same-day orders outside metropolitan areas.
Today's younger consumers will never have to cart around boxes filled with their movie and music collections or personal libraries. Services such as Netflix, on-demand cable options, Spotify and e-readers allow us to own little, yet consume more. The same is true for clothing and even cars. We can "Rent the Runway" for a cocktail party and "Zipcar" to the grocery store as needed.