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Perspectives

2025 is Around the Corner. Is Retail Ready?

2018-02-08


With smart strategies and roadmaps, retailers can ready their organizations for changing customers, stores, and supply chains.

What does retail look like in 2025? 

Decidedly different. 

Just a few short years away, 2025 will find shoppers moving fluidly from “experiencing” products in stores to ordering them online. 

Physical stores are lively, immersive environments. Smartphones buzz with customized how-to assistance. Sensors analyze data in real time. In the supply chain, collaboration rules. 

To shoppers, seeing and touching product matters. In fact, 74% of them ranked convenience-related offerings as more important than price in determining where they shop, according to our shopper survey. They want products in stock and easy to find, convenient store locations, and product mix.

For our special report, “The Road to 2025: Retail, Reimagined,” we dug deeper, examining the changing customer, store, and the supply chain. So, what’s our forecast?

  • New ways to manage demand. Emerging economic and revenue models are paving the way to a rewired retail experience. 

  • Why sustainability is a must-have. To stay relevant for environmentally-concerned consumers, retailers in the coming decade will need to focus on the so-called “triple bottom line,” adding environmental and social results to traditional bottom-line profits. 

  • The re-imagined store is real. As formats converge — physical retail, digital services, and e-commerce channels — integrated efforts will be the norm. Instead of planning and executing by channel, retailers will support a consistent brand experience across all consumer touchpoints. 

  • Stores go all digital, all the time. Much of the data and analytics available via e-commerce activities will also inform physical store strategy. The Internet of Things (IoT) will be a workhorse technology for stores, with broad applications throughout the aisles and operations. Helping to perfect the associates-free, checkout-free model will be the advancement of technologies such as image recognition and machine learning.

  • The supply chain becomes a critical touch point. Even as automation and robotics usher in new efficiencies, supply chains will gain a human face as they take a leading role in managing customers. The motivating force? The personalization movement, which requires more frequent interactions with customers during product customization and delivery. Customer service will be seamlessly integrated into supply chains. 

Get a Jump on 2025 

Our advice: Develop key strategies and a potential roadmap to help your organization face the future head on. Explore the interactive graphic below to see what this means:

Figure 1

To learn more, read the full report “The Road to 2025: Retail Reimagined,” or visit the retail section of our website. 

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2025 is Around the Corner. Is Retail Ready?