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The Experience Brands Weekly #153

The future of retail

Tom Goodwin, executive vice-president and head of innovation at Zenith USA, has published the latest article in his series on the future of retail in Marketing Week.

In his first piece, he made the distinction between ‘buying’ and ‘shopping’ – ‘buying’ the activity where efficiency is king, whereas ‘shopping’ is all about experience. Goodwin argues that retailers need to make a choice to be one or the other – the Amazon or the Selfridges. Shoppers expect to be able to get want they want, when they want - if you want them to dwell a bit longer then you better offer a great experience.

In this second piece, he turns to examining the retail businesses of today, arguing we need to see everything “as a shoppable layer, every password or entry field as a barrier.” With the technological advances of past few years there is “no reason why every retail brand can’t sell pretty much everything” - retail today is less about bricks and mortar and more about eyeballs. It is not all doom and gloom for traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers, who have an opportunity to offer high-quality and personalised customer service that “compliments online one-click retail rather than attempting to compete.”

Goodwin’s message is clear: retailers need to innovate, to keep adapting to the world around them. In this new retail landscape with polarising trends of super-efficiency and rich experience, retailers need to make a choice: either provide a great highly efficient experience that meets people’s desires to be able to get what they want when they want it, or choose a different path asking consumers to spend a little more time. In return, they provide a different type of experience, one the consumer feels is worth spending that extra time for.

Neither path is wrong, but retailers need to make the choice and provide the best experience for their customers based on this decision. If not, they risk being stuck in a middle ground which is where no one wants to be.

Other Bites:

Heineken: Heineken Hall

The Heineken Hall made its first appearance at Wilderness this Year. As part of the Open Your World campaign, the Hall was sold as the most inclusive members club, offering speed dating in partnership with the Human Library (a not-for-profit which aims to use conversation to break down barriers) as well as stand-up comedy and sets from the residents of Ronnie Scotts.



BBC: We Wait

To bring to life the story of the many refugees attempting the long journey to Europe, the BBC is creating a VR experience. Following the story of a family making the dangerous journey from Syria, the experience transports you into the refugees’ world.



Museum of London: Gladiator Games

Looking for something to do this Bank Holiday Weekend? The Museum of London is transporting you back to Roman Britain, putting on the Gladiator Games at Guildhall Yard, the site of London's only Roman amphitheatre. Just try not to get thrown to the Lions.