Digital Expectations in a Physical World

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

NRF | June 8, 2021

Stores are being used in a different way. Jason Goldberg is the chief commerce strategy officer at Publicis Group and has been a go-to retail expert for industry leaders for years and discusses how the role of the retail store is changing for good.

One of the interesting things about retail is which behaviors are sticking from pandemic trends and which behaviors are reverting to pre-pandemic ways. People have reimagined the purpose of stores from pick up options to storage lockers, but ultimately people are going to stores less, despite spending being high.

Goldberg's view is that retail's goal should be to appeal to consumers, but not try to change their behavior. Retailer's must reset to address meeting the customer with where they are at and what they want. Reducing friction and taking sustainable action is seeming to be along the path to success.

Within discussion of sustainability, Goldberg addresses customers saying they want sustainable products, but the sad truth of customer's still buying the easiest, cheapest option. However, doing what makes sense from an economical and ecological overlap is where technology is evolving to support. For example, physical labor to change 55,000 paper price tags no longer makes sense, if there is a digital price tag to change promotions at the flip of a switch and the opportunity to show ratings and review in-store is an option. Elevating these digital amenities to be offered in-store are going to be future experiences.

Similarly, in-store fulfillment and last mile delivery offerings will be optimized with growing technology involvement. Same day services are here to stay, but now retailers are optimizing these fulfillment services that were rolled out as a necessity during the pandemic. One of these enhancements is adding back in impulse buy opportunities during drive up.

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