In a recent industry report, what stands out is how critical smaller, nimble retailers are to defining the changing face of retail. Larger, conventional retailers cannot quite keep up, leading to a new context that will influence consumers and their consumption for years to come. For example, e-commerce and m-commerce are old school; the latest element is voice commerce, which can happen literally anywhere. Consumers simply call out what they want, and technologically advanced tools like Alexa or Google Home place the order for them. Because this route is simple and intuitive, it has grown rapidly, creating new challenges for retailers and brands that need to find a way to appeal to consumers without any visual means of communication. They also have to figure out how to take payment without requiring consumers to do pretty much anything. With their focus on an appealing, convenient, and easy experience, consumers are not willing even to have to reach for their wallets. Instead, they want enjoyable experiences, such as festivals and augmented reality games, especially if those experiences can be hyper-personalized and individual for each person. Although most of these changes are coming from the smaller, nimble actors in the market, that does not mean that any player can count out the big names, like Amazon and Walmart. Both of these retail giants have committed to embracing an experience approach, supplemented by advanced technology and intuitive methods for consumers to obtain the products they want. But changes keep coming, so perhaps someday even that status will be different.
Source: Richard Kestenbaum, Forbes, October 3, 2017