Consumers hold the power in the shopping experience today. With multiple channels to purchase and mounds of information available to them in a few taps on a smart phone, today’s shoppers come to a purchasing decision better informed than ever before, drawing on the power of their networks to find the best products.
Consider how today’s typical retail purchase process works:
- Someone sees an item a friend has and also wants it
- Consumer then quickly takes to her smartphone to do some research
- Peer validation is sought through other customer reviews and social media
- Purchase is made and product is delivered to the doorstep
What’s interesting is that while in today’s New Retail Economy, consumers can move quickly and get products whenever and however they want. The process to actually create and shop for those products is completely different.
Consider how a typical process to get a product to market might look:
- Product sourcing/ merchandising professional takes an overseas trip to sort through warehouses full of samples
- Handwritten notes and photos are used to keep track of ideas
- She and her team sorts through spreadsheets and samples to compare costs
- Communication with teams back home is through long email threads
- And so on…
It’s certainly a stark contrast. Brands are investing millions in technology that supports a better digital experience for their customers. But the backend retail shopping process is seemingly stuck in the Stone Age. It’s an unfortunate reality in an industry that so many go into with a desire to be inspired and creative, and what’s more, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Consumers don’t shop in a linear way, so we can’t rely on creating products for them in that way. The reality is that the way we create and shop for products in the B2B space is not fast enough to support the new ways that consumers discover and buy them—and that disconnect needs to change.
The New Retail Economy imperative
Retailers need to rethink this model in order to thrive in the industry today. Creating a more visual, collaborative experience—just like we create for consumers—means more innovative products, faster, helping brands stand out.
Success means matching the speed of the consumer, and that starts by aligning your backend processes to your frontend customer experience. By shopping like your customers do, more visually and collaboratively, you’ll find more inspiration, come up with innovative ideas and drive a more efficient buying process throughout the entire retail ecosystem.
Learn the four things retailers need to do to mimic the consumer experience on the backend in order to succeed in the New Retail Economy by reading our whitepaper: The retail revolution: Rethinking how brands create and shop for products.