In the future of retail, we’re never not shopping

by MR Magazine Staff

Most retail outlets — whether conventional brick-and-mortar shops, digitally enhanced stores like Macy’s in the U.S. or Burberry in the UK, or online stores — assume a traditional three-stage consumption model. The customer experiences a need, shops to satisfy the need, and then consumes or uses the product purchased (I need shoes, I buy shoes, I wear them). The vocabulary of retailing reflects this model, assuming in particular that shopping is the central component of this model. Marketers will talk about shopping trips, shopping missions, shopping baskets, shopping lists, and destination trips. What’s more, current practice for the most part still rests on the idea that many decisions on which particular product to buy are made in the store — whether physical or online. Hence, brands engage in an arms race of persuasion and hard-sell tactics (prices, promos, presence) at the point-of-sale order to sway the customer when she is ready to transact. Read more at Harvard Business Review.