The Evolution of Retail is Exciting!

SEPTEMBER 7, 2018

For those in retail, pundits have put the industry under assault with threats of a retail apocalypse. While these claims grab headlines, reality shows that the evolution of retail is happening. It now caters to the demands and expectations of Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Retailers providing their customers with a smoother shopping experience, fueled by big data and inspired by insights, win big.

Retailers small and large recognize the need for change. Whether that change lies in logistics and last mile delivery, or online presence and payment technologies, the evolution of retail is happening. No need to look any further than companies applying these innovations to evolve their own models, like Walmart, Apple, Lululemon, Zappo, Alibaba, Amazon, Kroger, Best Buy, and b8ta, just to name a few. These retailers have embraced the evolution of retail and created new models to meet it.

Retailers Ahead of the Competition

Check out these three retailers ahead of the competitive curve:

  1. b8ta: While not a model for all retailers, this startup has found an efficient way to get their products to market. The basic concept builds on the “Store within a Store” model. Instead of taking a percentage of the profits, b8ta charges hardware makers a flat fee to showcase their products on their shelves. The goal? Educate shoppers about products while collecting data that shows how shoppers interact with said products.
  2. Walmart: This mega-giant continues to evolve their retail model, now focusing on the customer experience. In this way, they can provide a seamless purchasing process. According to a report by Packaged Facts, over 40% of click-and-collect consumers choose to shop with Walmart, with 78% of these consumers making a purchase from the megaretailer in the last three months.
  3. Kroger: Over the last few months, they announced investments and contracts with technology companies like Instacart. Here, they aim to streamline and expand their overall grocery logistics and delivery model. This is one to watch for the next few years.

Plenty available research validates that consumer purchasing habits have changed and continue to change. As this evolution happens, opportunity lives and thrives. Here at Bell and Howell, we don’t just casually observe this change, we recognize the challenges and opportunities it presents. Our solutions focus specifically on click-and-collect. Why? We have over 100 years of successful experience in workflow automation and optimization. Our solutions use innovative data analytics, improve machine uptime and availability and, most importantly, optimize the customer pickup experience. Although automated self-service pickup is just one important piece of the puzzle, it enables retailers to rethink or simply complement their customer engagement models.

Join in the excitement and stay tuned to see where this winding road takes us next.