Getting to 2010: Innovation Required
By George Anderson
A press release put out earlier this week by the research and consulting firm Retail Forward begins: “Despite fast-changing customer expectations, shortened product and retail life cycles and rapid technological advancements, many retailers have not taken advantage of opportunities to innovate.”
A newly released report from the group, Retail Innovation: Ten Opportunities for 2010, sponsored by American Express identifies areas of consumer need that offer retailers the best prospects for achieving a competitive point of difference and business growth in the future.
- Catch a wave – Address market opportunities presented by changes in society such as demographics, technology, etc.
- Solve my problem – Bundle products and services to focus on providing solutions for “task-oriented shoppers.”
- Do it for me – For all those consumers who ask, “Why DIY?”
- Help me choose – Too many choices, too much work, too little time, too, too, too – consumers want help deciding what to buy. Try sampling, in-store kiosks and other
means to help shoppers make choices they will be happy with after they’ve left the store or Web site.
- Come to me – As the saying goes, “If Mohammed won’t go to the mountain…”
- Enhance the experience – Creating a point where entertainment and retailing meet.
- Make it easy – ‘Nuf said.
- Do it my way – Going beyond personalization to let consumers in on the development process.
- Help me connect – “All the lonely people, where do they all belong.”
- I want it now – Fast is good. Faster is better. Fastest is best.
Moderator’s Comment: Where do you see opportunities for retailers to innovate and grow their business? If you had to choose one, what area do you think
holds particular promise?
The President of Retail Forward, Tom Rubel, said in a released statement, “For retailers in the maturity phase of their life cycle, innovation will be more
important for growth than organic expansion in the years ahead. Looking back, retail innovators such as Woolworth, Sears, JCPenney, 7-Eleven, and Wal-Mart revolutionized the retail
industry. Their innovations changed the rules of the game. They brought about drastic changes in the behavior of competitors, reinvented the industry’s economic model and improved
the customer experience.” –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Retail Innovation: Ten Opportunities for 2010 – Retail Forward
(register for a free copy)
- Ten Opportunities for Retail Innovation Revealed in New Retail Forward Report –