The way people shop has completely changed over the past five years. A large part of this change in behavior has been driven by online access to information. Shoppers now have easy access to more product information than ever before. Yet as the modern buying experience has changed dramatically, the in-store experience at most retailers has remained frozen in time.
A recent Federal Reserve report shows that household finances have regained substantial ground since the Great Recession, driven largely by the run-up in home values and surge in stocks. These positive forces have contributed to the highest level of wealth in our history — the net worth of U.S. households and nonprofits reached $80.7 trillion by the end of 2013.
Dutch physicist Niels Bohr wasn’t talking about the retail industry when he said, “prediction is very difficult, especially about the future,” but the comment couldn’t be more relevant given the volatility facing the retail industry.
The buzz and hype surrounding 3D printing can make it hard to separate fact from fiction, but one thing is for sure: 3D printing has the potential to transform shopper expectations and retail supply chains.
“Ongoing investigation.” “Forensics and law enforcement continue to investigate.” For now, it is a bit too early to write the “Lessons Learned” piece about the Target/Neiman Marcus/Michaels data breach incident. But there are a few things that were known before these latest payment card/database breaches occurred and should be put into context in light of what we are currently investigating.
With approximately 1.5 billion smartphones currently in use today, it is safe to say mobile is radically changing consumer retail behavior. To maximize in-store sales opportunities and minimize hurdles to purchase, retailers must change their approach to reach a new generation of customers steeped in a mobile lifestyle.
Counterfeiting and brand theft are crimes that have been given unlimited new life and opportunity online — they affect all industries and all major brands on a global scale. Recently the watchdog agency Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) put a $1 trillion annual figure on global losses from counterfeiting and piracy, with 2.5 million jobs put at risk.