Futurist Thomas Frey writes that people are social creatures by nature and while the online world has dealt a temporary setback to traditional retailers, a new breed of unusual stores filled with hyper-individualized experiences is starting to enter the marketplace.
Where many commodity items such as books and music are better delivered in digital form online, other products will find ways to differentiate themselves through instant status-fixes, group learning experiences, relationship building opportunities, and much more.
When it comes to retail, consumers are in control. They vote with their dollar when they decide what to buy, where to buy, when to buy, and how much they’re willing or can afford to pay.
In our connected world, where information is ﬂuid and transparent, retailers must become actively engaged in the global conversation. If not, their customers will simply begin the conversations without them.
Physical stores currently still provide the best way to create a high-value relationship with customers and build a branded experience, but this could easily change over time. Although brick and mortar stores are not going away any time soon, the actual value they add to their communities as well as their appearance and interactivity levels plus the variety of products they offer will remain in transition for the foreseeable future.