How has retail innovation altered the shopping experience over the past 20 years?
The competitive reality compels retailers to embrace innovation by using the digital space to extend their existing storefronts. Today's retail features constant connectivity that allows retailers serve their target customers better through contextual relevance. The innovation equates shoppers' knowledge to that of salespeople (Balasescu, 2013). Then, customers would visit stores with little or no knowledge and depend upon the salesperson. Contemporary shoppers are accustomed to conducting own research to optimize the value of every dollar spent.
Today's retailers are capable of delivering personalized suggestion from shoppers unlike when shopkeepers welcomed customers to learn their needs and preferences. The constantly connected world using digital devices allows retailers attain relevant suggestions. The contextual relevance allows the retailers anticipate the customers' needs by conveying right information (Reinartz, Dellaert, Krafft, V.Kumar, & Varadarajan, 2011). Again, mobile devices are responsible for driving traffic to the stores unlike in the past where locating the outlets relied upon the familiarity and serendipity. The connectivity in social networks is allowing shoppers share the opinion on the outlets and products in millions. Previously retail therapy appeared restricted to friends and family by word of mouth.
How do retailers of today differ from retailers of yesteryear?
Modern retailers are blurring the distinction between online and offline platforms by integrating mobile platforms to revitalize their brick-and-mortar store experiences. They are optimizing the search element by providing maps directing customers and phone numbers that accommodate click-to-contact services (Grewal, et al., 2011). Retailers have shifted from internet researching to utilizing interactive video, gestural controls and 360 viewing to bring their portfolio alive on the customers' mobile screens. Mobile commerce has become an important channel for today's retailers interact with, sell and support their target shoppers using their online and in-store platforms using applications.
How has innovation altered retailers' strategies?
Technological advances have transformed the modern face of retail supported by new devices empowering consumers to interact with the product. The connectivity motivates the consumers to seek contextual relevance both on product information and pricing (Sorescu, Frambach, Singh, Rangaswamy, & Bridges, 2011). The increased demand for price comparison amongst price-conscious shoppers compels retailers to alter their strategies and embrace the low pricing philosophy. Shoppers seek value for every dollar they spend hence, use the price comparison to locate retailers selling same products at lower prices. Such involves the incorporation of comparison shopping engines within their online platforms to attract customers using the low pricing philosophy.
Balasescu, M. (2013). The Influence of Innovations and Technology on the Future of Retail. Economic Sciences, 6(2), 9-14.
Grewal, D., Ailawadi, K. L., D. G., Hall, K., Kopalle, P., & Robertson, J. R. (2011). Innovations in Retail Pricing and Promotions. Journal of Retailing, 87(1), 43-52.
Reinartz, W., Dellaert, B., Krafft, M., V.Kumar, & Varadarajan, R. (2011). Retailing Innovations in a Globalizing Retail Market Environment. Journal of Retailing, 87(1), 53-66.
Sorescu, A., Frambach, R. T., Singh, J., Rangaswamy, A., & Bridges, C. (2011). Innovations in Retail Business Models. Journal of Retailing, 87(1), 3-16.
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