At the recent FMI Connect Conference, the Food Marketing Institute and industry partners prepared retailers for the future. How and based on what? Predictions fromRetail Experience of the Future (RETF). An ambitious platform that's setting out to inspire operators to innovate towards the year 2025.
Says FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin, Retail Experience of the Future is “an informed observation of where consumer culture, food, marketing and technology are headed – and what that may mean for the food retail industry in the future.” So what does the forecast look like? Here are a few of the predictions made:
1) Stores will become emotional destinations
2) The store floor will become a “hyper showroom” to help shoppers become smarter consumers
3) Stores will enable micro-personalization on a macro-scale
4) Retail’s role in its shoppers’ well-being will increase
5) The store’s environment will become highly responsive
6) Store associates will become shopper advocates
7) Technology will enable the experience without interrupting it
Research done for RETF shows traditional grocers will be the “go-to” spot for 83% of consumers in the foreseeable future. Yet the mix will become more male, older and ethnic – and Millennials will outspend Boomers on food and beverage by 2020. Also, health and wellness, and convenience and immediacy, will become key priorities. These are just some potential changes.
Here at The Lempert Report we expect this kind of research and these kinds "what if" questions to prompt some great innovations. For example: What if customers could personalize their shopping experiences? What if shoppers could engage with products – touch, see, smell and test them through augmented reality technologies, live demos, teaching events, and displays? What if checkout was frictionless?
So how ready will retailers and CPG be for the very different shopping world of 2025? Well, we'll have to wait and see how they respond to predictions l That answer hinges largely on how they respond to the indications of the future.