The evolution and tide of consumer change is worldwide and escalating

Below is a small excerpt from a larger article written by Dr. Chris Peterson for Retail Customer Executive. He likens the changing landscape of retail to the concept of the survival of the fittest as proposed by Darwin.


From the article:

Darwin’s famous theories of evolution often get misquoted or misinterpreted as “only the strongest survive.” Actually, the underlying premise of Darwin’s work is best captured in his quote with referring to “adaptable” as the trait which enables a species to best survive in a changing world. The tumult of change facing retail today indicates that the retail survivors might not be the biggest or the strongest, but those that can most quickly adapt to tidal wave of change. What is unique about that change is that it is precipitated by the consumer.

There have been many new terms added to the lexicon of retailing in the last couple of years. “Showrooming” is a classic example of a change in consumer behavior, which impacts the retail heritage of bricks and mortar stores. While consumers still shop stores, their journey typically begins online. They are now able to shop online with their mobile devices, while standing in the retailer’s aisle AND make a purchase from their phone.

Today, consumers literally expect seamless integration and high quality consumer experiences. They expect both choice and convenience across channels: being able to buy online and pickup in store or purchase in store and ship home. While price is always a consideration, the real value for consumers today is in the experience and retail ecosystem of service both at the moment of truth, and after the sale.