Technological advancements have left the retail world in a state of flux and anyone who says they’ve got it all sussed is probably bluffing behind their shopping bags. If you’re sat in the corner of next Monday’s trade meeting feeling confused, drop a few of these words into your weekly roundup and you might just sound like you know what’s going on.
Brick and Click
Everyone likes a rhyming expression and luckily these two words are peas in a pod, neatly summing up exactly where the world of retail sits right now – somewhere between the physical and cyber world. This term refers to when retailers successfully combine the two, such as allowing customers to shop online and pick up in-store.
This might sound like cleaning out the cobwebs from the cupboard under your stairs, but it’s actually a bit more sophisticated than that. It’s using digital technology to create an online showroom. Think of a car dealership and instead of a forecourt covered in cars, you have instagram, a 360 view product page and customisable colour options.
Nike, Argos and Walmart are all retailers who can send customers up an Endless Aisle, without actually going anywhere at all. Customers may enter a small, physical shop but are able to see a full range of products through devices like touch–screen TVs and iPads. It allows retailers to fit a mountain of SKUs into a simple handheld device.
S-Commerce is the use of social media in the ecommerce process. It’s not only about flogging boxes of old books on Facebook, but also includes peer recommendations (such as Trip Advisor), user-curated shopping (such as Lyst) and participatory commerce (such as Threadless). It all helps to deepen the engagement and bring customers that little bit closer to the brand.
Mass customisation offers products that can be tailored to each person’s preferences, but still be produced with mass-production efficiency. Check out ‘Miadidas’ by Adidas – customers can tailor trainers to each individual foot, letting their personal expression jump for joy.