design:retail - June 2016 - (Page 32)

searching for steve jobs 032 In Praise of Mothers ROBERT HOCKING RETALE MATTERS @rhockinguk T HERE'S A CERTAIN irony that as I was planning to write this piece, my wife had an opportunity for a long weekend away, resulting in me caring for our three small daughters on my own. In the spirit of transparency, know this: I know nothing of decorative hairstyling, but I sure did learn something you should keep in mind as you peruse this issue of design:retail and its focus on retail technology: mothers know best. So let this be your guide as you consider the utility of technology in serving the higher goals of the shopper. Not that long ago I attended an Institute of Grocery Distribution conference that focused on "disruptive innovation." The organizers brought together industry heavyweights from both retail and brands; several spoke, and all claimed the new reality of business was a universe of shoppers who expected low prices. Let's call their view the problem. These speakers were then followed by others, mainly suppliers, who presented various forms of technology ranging from Google Glass to 3-D food printers, with much of the application of this socalled disruption really centred on being "new" rather than being beneficial to shoppers. Let's call their tech toys the solution. The whole thing felt to me like an endorsement of that classic phrase, "Just because you JUNE 2016 DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM can, doesn't mean you should." Here was a case where the problem was underestimated and the solution overestimated. We know that shoppers seek low price in the absence of additional drivers of value in what they are purchasing. I'd argue that many of the grocery industry's woes don't originate from a lack of technology, but rather through a lack of disruptive innovation in the area of stuff that matters to shoppers that's different than from what the competition offers. GLOBALSHOP.ORG The tradition of much of retail, grocery in particular, is to create stores that are more like warehouses, with little to inspire shoppers who consistently state their desire to find inspiration alongside their need to fulfill a purchase mission. Grocery retail's common solution is to streamline operations, strip out value and claim to pass the savings onto shoppers. But there's a greater need that's being overlooked by the emphasis we place on efficiency over quality, be that quality in function or form. There's an old saying: "Low prices only rent you customers; they don't build loyalty." If I were the CEO of a grocery retailer, I'd be asking my team to figure out what it will take beyond price (with its accompanying lousy margins) to earn the hearts and minds of our customers; to create what some refer to as "loyalty beyond reason." It's in this context that I'd cast a critical eye over the rush to introduce technology into the retail space. A few years, back I was involved in working with a multibillion-dollar grocery retailer on designing a store of the future; a project that, according to them, should result in a shopper experience that would be a game changer in how the retail brand was perceived. I started the project by interviewing the executive team, an intelligent, accomplished group of 15 individuals, 14 of whom were men that Illustration courtesy of THINKSTOCK http://www.DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM http://www.GLOBALSHOP.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - June 2016

design:retail - June 2016
Editor's Note
On Trend
We Love This!
Designer Picks
Clicks & Mortar
How'd They Do That?
Have You Heard?
The Visual Eye
Searching for Steve Jobs
Samsung 837
Tech Disruptors

design:retail - June 2016