PSFK Labs Predict the Future of Retail Data
When it comes to the future of retail, PSFK Labs has an idea of what’s in store. According to the latest report in its “The Future of Retail” series, while shoppers needs are stay the same,the sector is expected to be transformed by data mining and analytics from retailers’ perspectives.
“We’re seeing the digital and physical worlds start to converge, creating a new model for the retail marketplace,” says PSFK’s Piers Fawkes in the report. “By syncing the capabilities of all of their platforms, retailers and brands can add convenience and efficiencies...creating more opportunities for personalized service, product discovery and relationship building.”
“We’re calling [it] the Networked Purchase Path.”
The report notes that consumers are now being marketed to through a number of new sources, and as a result they’re more likely to see their needs met in a personalized way. But this also puts greater demand on retailers to make use of as many channels as possible, which means storing and making sense of a lot more data.
“Lost sales opportunities have only grown with the addition of more kinds of media,” Fawkes notes. “Every time a would-be shopper encounters a product in a print ad, social media feed or TV show, there’s a potential path to purchase that typically goes unfulfilled.” But he also says that digital tools are helping to streamline the path from advertisements to the checkout, creating a “fully shoppable world” or “Omni Point-of-Purchase,” as PSFK calls it.
In addition to the systems businesses are already using to keep in touch with their customers, PSFK says that new data-driven commerce platforms are helping to keep retailers agile when it comes to reacting to customers and gaining the most useful insights from their behavior.
For existing customers, the report notes that more companies are now looking to directly bridge the gap between the data and a salesperson, meaning that not only are automated ads personalized, but store employees could potentially help a shopper find a particular item of interest at the moment they walk into the store. Additionally, the report touches on the growing role that multichannel customer service is expected to play in coming years.