At the Handelskraft Conference on the 20th of February 2018 so many new paths to successful retail will be discussed. With trends, best practices, and new impulses, we want to talk about real business and tell real stories about the digital reality and its challenges.
This reality is deeply influenced by the change and the increasing automation and digitising of all processes and relationships in everyday life. As a result, communication between consumers and brands will continue to evolve, increasing customer demands and expectations.
In fact, David Mattin (TrendWatching) will tell us in his session at Handelskraft Conference 2018 «Digital Innovation for Humans – Four Digital-Fueled Consumer Trends for 2018 and Beyond» how crucial AI will be in a connected world and how to cope with the flood of new innovations and mega-trends we can all use on a daily basis, use them to strengthen our own company.
But even this new status quo has effects that companies should not ignore. In an interview with Handelskraft, David Mattin explains which consumer trend will be particularly influential in 2018 and why retailers should keep an eye on them.
In your opinion, which consumer trend will be the most disruptive and influential in 2018 and why should retailers keep an eye on it?
There are a whole host of trends, some ongoing and some starting to emerge now, that will act on the retail industry in 2018. Obviously automation and AI are massively impacting both the way consumer behave, and the means that brands have to meet the demands of their customers.
But one crucial trend to think about is transparency, because we’re at a real tipping-point moment there. We talk about a trend called GLASS BOX BRANDS; it’s all about how every business is now a glass box. Consumers can see all the way inside the box; they can see your people, your processes, your values as a business. In other words, your internal culture is becoming a part of your public-facing brand. If consumers don’t like what they see when they look inside you, they are not going to want to engage. So any retailer needs to ask: how can we take steps to meaningfully improve our internal culture? Not just because it’s the right thing to do (though that is important!), but also because that culture is now a crucial determinant of how consumers feel about you.
How is the relationship between brands and consumers going to evolve in times of increasing automation and digitalisation of daily life?
The rise of AI-fueled personal assistants and smart digital services that help consumers manage and outsource aspects of their retail is a key trend for 2018: we call it A-COMMERCE (the A stands for automated). You can see A-COMMERCE as the next evolution of the journey that gave us first e-commerce and then m-commerce.
The implications for retailers are huge. That’s because the rise of these services fundamentally disrupts the existing relationship between brands – including retailers – and consumers. At the heart of it all lies these questions: how do you build a relationship with a customer if that customer is using Alexa, or some other AI, to make their purchasing decisions for them? What happens to your marketing and messaging when you are trying to sell to AIs rather than human beings?
All this is going to mean that getting the attention of customers, and building any kind of relationship with them, is even harder than it is now.
Change is a constant in the digital era. How is affecting this in the consumer behaviour? Do you think that retailers are ready to cope with the changes?
It’s often hard to cope with change; that is part of being a business, and part of being a human being. But using trends – spotting them and acting on them – can be a simple and powerful way for businesses to use change to their advantage.
Spotting trends is something anyone can do. In the end, it’s just about looking out to the world of innovation – new products, services, campaigns, and so on – and asking a few simple, structured questions about what you see. That helps you to spot the signals these innovations are sending about where consumer expectations are heading. In this way, you can turn the avalanche of new innovation that we all see every day into something that is very empowering for you and your business. Of course, I’m going to be talking much more about all this at the conference!
Consumers are getting used to personalised services and constant gratification. Their expectations are higher and higher… Could this dynamic have dramatic consequences? How should retailers react to this?
It can be intimidating when you look at customers and see how high their expectations are becoming. Just look at what Amazon alone is doing to heighten consumer expectations when it comes to convenience, speed and price. It’s terrifying for any retailer. And yes, those expectations can have dramatic consequences: if your brand doesn’t meet them, you will eventually go out of business!
But as I say above, if you can look in a structured way at the innovations that are coming into the marketplace, then you can start to spot trends that your business can apply to meet those expectations too.
It is your first time at the Handelskraft Conference. What are some of your expectations of it? Could you give us a briefly overview of the session for the Handelskraft Conference 2018?
I’m super-exicted to speak to an audience of switched on professionals. And, of course, to learn from other speakers and audience members too. I’m going to be talking about five key trends that any retail brand or marketer must have on their radar for 2018. And along the way, I’m going to show attendees how they can become their own trend watchers, so that they can go out into the world and start spotting trends of their own that can transform their business in 2018 and beyond. I can’t wait!
Get your ticket now!
You don’t want to miss David Mattin’s session “Digital Innovation for Humans – Four Digital-Fueled Consumer Trends for 2018 and Beyond” as well as many other exciting topics, like blockchain applications, you should secure your ticket now!
Renowned companies such as Würth, MusicStore or Grohe will also be there.