Behaviors and technology: my vision of the digital evolution of retail. Interview.

Publié le par le-furet-du-retail

Behaviors and technology: my vision of the digital evolution of retail. Interview.

Interview donnée cette semaine lors du séminaire IPZ (équivalent UDA et Fevad Turc) d'Istanbul sur le thème "Dijital öldu, yassasin digital" (le digital est mort vive le digital!). pour le compte de Altavia Turkey notre agence locale.

Could you tell your ideas about digital trade environment?

To say it briefly I would take a fun example: in the 1960s, the cloth washing was a chore for households. Therefore, the washing machine was invented. We witness the same transformation for e-commerce. Internet can emancipate people from recurring purchases in the same way washing machine has emancipated from the cloth washing.

Consumers say it bluntly : The daily shopping is one of the last boring routine for households : 73% of french people consider them as a chore (source Ipsos 2012). Moreover, 80% of the items we purchase are already planned and remain the same from one month to the next. There is no added value.

So … yes, the web brought transparency, and people look for low prices first, but I think the main point is that the web has become our facilitator of daily life ... Through the web, we manage to simplify our daily tasks ... And the good news is that it fits into our lives every day.... we have to realize, without being scared of it that a new, digitized person is growing in each of us. This person helps us to live better, to communicate, to share, to learn ....

And we will have to accept that this digitized self works faster than our brain !

What kind of innovation will be with customers after coming period of digitalization?

In firts, i believe that two technologies will distinguish themselves : image recognition, and voice recognition : these technologies will help us avoid the tedious process of data entry, ordering, etc ...).These developments will further increase the fluidity of digital usage in our daily life. These technologies will make it even easier by a constitution example of our shopping list: look at Amazon or Hiku Dash of Chronodrive in France. It is also the challenge of Target in United states which integrates object recognition that avoids the scanning of bar code.

For store and e-commerce platforms, I think we are entering an era in which artificial intelligence (AI) will play a increasing role...New devices will include AI, natural language mastering as well as human emotions understanding, and they will learn from their interactions with us (machine learning). Pepper, Aldebaran's humanoid robot, is a good example of it. It's currently under test in SoftBank agencies in Japan.

And we will have to accept that our brains are not as precise, relevant and fast as software and algorithms are. They will be of great help … as we move towards an algorithms-run world.

As far as purchasing behavior is concerned : The real challenge will be the automation of our purchases.

Why would we go and buy diapers twice a week in stores if it can be scheduled ? Amazon, Wallmart and Target work on predictive softwares and to them, ‘’the best shopping list is the one you don't have to write’’. The best example of "test and learn" approach, in this field, is currently Amazon Dash.

You always buy the same laundry, the same deodorant, the same items for your household ... Retailers are struggling to deliver these items to your door when you need at the rate you want. And we are witnessing the race for same-day-delivery '' same day.

Our shopping predictable needs could be suggested by algorithms ... But eventually, the consumer wants to keep control of what he buys. For retailers or brands it may be tempting to manage the purchase process, but they should stick to the prediction and suggestion stage. The shopper must control the decision.

What kind of innovation will be with customers after coming period of digitalization? Whats new customers are waiting for after digitalization of trade on next semester

Customers want to make their life easier and expand the range of choices. To go into store if they want to, to stay at home if they prefer.
We are moving towards a fully service-based retail business. The sale will be a small bit of the whole service provided by the retail compa
ny.

All these new possibilities have brought a more demanding customer, harder to satisfy...... because everything is so fast on the internet, everything is open 24/7 ... and at the end, the customer doesn't understand why it should be different 'in real life '. This is the challenge of tomorrow's retail industry : to be always able to fulfill a customer that has become a professional buyer.

You are talking about customer charecters have changed with along new ages. What are the changing habits of customers?

I love that question ... I belong to a 'digital adopters' generation. We have known the shopping stores, the queues, the supply-shortages but we had not choice. Generation Y is stuck in the middle, it has still this store culture, but it grew up with digital devices and it becomes ever more complicated, there are ‘’digital’’ in the blood. The next generation of the 'boomers' or 'Millennials' no longer has any reference 'spontaneous' physical trade. Watch the Amazon pubs children are everywhere, and it foreshadows the homes of tomorrow.

They find it fun, pleasurable to shop on the internet. For our children, to spend their afternoon on a tablet to buy clothes at bargain prices and have them delivered is sometimes greater than going to the store, as their parents did. We should be cautious about that because we can’t predict if they are bound to change their views on commerce when they get older.

I think this generation will be freed from time and space. It won't follow any habits. It will use the channels and devices that reflect their mood. For them, the distribution brand doesn't matter: They want to get the product where and when they want it. ‘’ It's the ATAWAD ‘’ generation (Any Time AnyWhere Any Device).

How are these changes affecting to brands and companies?

It is an industrial and cultural shock. We are emerging from an 'industrial' era where everything was treated vertically. We are heading toward a society of individuals, a horizontal society. Players have conflicting interests, structures and processes change the way of thinking in the industry. All our models are challenged. Not only the 'employee' but also the person are put under tension. The technological future is feared, but it brings whole new opportunities.

Tomorrow will be better.

How is this changes going to affect in marketing strategies?

At the risk of sounding caricatural, I'm afraid marketing belongs to history and that it's bound to die. It is a product of an industrial age at the end of its cycle. Earlier, everything was built from the top down, designed by structures for mass markets. Today we must use a 'bottom up' approach. Everything starts from the bottom, the customer, the users ... No other attitude than agility will help decipher the new customer which is, from now on, 'unpredictable' and agile too.

We are moving towards a society where 'updates' will be permanent.

The only marketing that can continue to exist? Marketing of unforeseen ! I invite you to read the book of Michel Hebert, whose think tank working on this hypothesis: our need to adapt to the unknown and manage a future 'unexpected' as today's consumers.

Mes support de keynote : Digital la fin du début !

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