• Store Nº8

How to Better Serve the Consumer of the Future, Starting Today

Updated: Apr 12, 2018

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Let’s daydream for a minute. Let’s imagine the future. What do you see? Maybe it’s driverless cars, filling the roadways. Or voice-enabled technology, ordering your staple groceries. At Store N⁰8, we’re preparing for that future you envision. We’re investing in capabilities and associated technologies that will transform the retail landscape. But, without a crystal ball, how do we anticipate what’s coming?

Our approach is simple: we consider the consumer, starting with ourselves. After all, the consumer of the future isn’t some abstract idea or concept. It’s me, you, your coworkers, neighbors. We examine how we’re actually living today, consider the micro changes we’re seeing, and the macro ones we can expect, all to anticipate everyone’s retail needs tomorrow.

Does that mean that soon we’ll always shop from home? That malls will disappear? Or that our smart fridges will order groceries for us? At Store N⁰8 we’ve made five observations about consumer behaviors to help us answer these questions and plan accordingly. Here’s what we’ve found:

Based on what we’re seeing today, we believe the consumer of the future should expect…

1. Constant connectivity

Today we’re constantly connected. From work emails to social media, technology influences our interests and shopping decisions, and its reach continues to grow every day. Because of this, how we spend our time is changing, and our devices allow us to shop in increasingly convenient ways. To that end, we’re identifying how people will stay connected in the future — whether it’s through phones, smart glasses, or voice-enabled home devices — and then meeting them there.

2. Ch-ch-changing lifestyles

Our offices are becoming decentralized and global. As the gig economy grows, more of us will work remotely and hold multiple jobs — meaning that our lifestyles are changing and, along with that, so are our values and spending priorities. However our job isn’t about influencing what we and other people value. Instead it’s about evolving and providing what everyone values through our products, services and platforms.

3. Desire for access over ownership

In today’s world, our ideas about what success looks like have changed. Whereas homeownership once constituted the pinnacle of adulthood, today we value experiences over traditional status symbols. That means that renting, lending, recycling, and alternative forms of ownership will become new frontiers, and that big-ticket items like housing and transportation will experience disruption (so we’re keeping all eyes there).

4. Personalized e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g

Stellar merchandising isn’t enough. Although we’re increasingly seeing a growing assortment of options, we want ones that are curated and tailored to our tastes. We expect our environments to adapt to us without any effort on our part, which makes investing in technologies that understand everyone’s preferences and needs key.

5. On-demand culture, 24/7

Our time is precious. From movies to groceries and meal deliveries, we expect content, goods, and services on demand. We’re changing our behaviors and actions (ordering in, streaming, etc.) in the name of convenience. As a retailer, we’re finding supply chain solutions and technologies that help us deliver without delay, all to make waiting a thing of the past.

Given all this, how will we, the future shoppers, spend our days?

Maybe we’ll wake up and immediately order those last-minute birthday gifts, using voice control (then arrive at work with them already wrapped and ready to go). Or perhaps we’ll order groceries online, have them delivered while we pick the kids up from school, and discover them already neatly organized in the fridge.

At the end of the day, the retailers that will thrive are those that consider the consumer. At Store N⁰8, we believe that their needs and wants always come first. That’s why we’re observing and testing what actually makes sense for everyone’s lifestyles, then investing in those capabilities and technologies to make their lives easier and better today, tomorrow, and light years into the future.

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