Prediction 5: Retail Grows in Importance

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by: David Polinchock

Retail spaces will become even more important as a connection point between the consumer and the brand.

And while that will mean a boom in traditional advertising methods like digital signage (click here to see how we feel about that!), it will also create greater opportunities for brands. More and more brands will create their own Retail Experiences and/or Pop-up Retail, as they realize they need a deeper connection with their audiences. Sure, creating cool online activities are important, but at some point you need to really touch the brand. With more and more retailers cutting back on their in-store experiences, the store may not the best place to interact with the brand. In fact, during a recent web cast for POPAI, 100% of the participants said they get better information online then they do in-store.

We believe that the biggest challenge that many companies face today is that much of what they do at retail is about generating revenue for the company, not generating value for the customers. And the consumers know that we’re doing it for our benefit and not theirs.

But retail (and brands!) must stand for something today to be successful. In today’s world, features and benefits don’t make a compelling point of differentiation. You need to have a strong set of beliefs, share them with your audience and then stand by them. Are you talking about being green and being a good world citizen? Then you can’t treat your employees badly. Do you stand for being for the consumer? Then you can’t have processes that are for your benefit and not for the consumer.

So brands will build and staff their own locations, even if they’re only temporary. And traditional retailers will have to recreate their physical space to make it just as easy to navigate as their online space.

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