Convenience, culture and curation: Innovations that transform retail

Retail is transforming, and innovation means opportunity and change. Oliver Chen covers retail for Cowen and Company and sees a lot of this transformation firsthand. “Retail is detail,” he says. “The best retail surprises and delights.” The retail of the future is even more focused on the customer experience, whether shopping online or in-store. Luxury goods are becoming more mainstream and there is greater focus on self-care and personalization.

In this episode of Retail Gets Real, Chen discusses how modern retailers are updating their success metrics for a new age and what the future of retail holds for companies and their customers.

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Chen sees the greatest transformation in luxury products. “Inclusive is the new exclusive,” he says. Brands like Gucci and Tiffany, for example, are transforming their messaging across mediums and encouraging customers to embrace their own personalities.

“The future of retail is very experiential,” Chen says, and stores need to “adjust and revise” how they design the shopping journey. Chen’s framework is three C’s: convenience, culture and curation — a brand may choose to hyper-focus on one or balance all three. Convenience could mean a seamless experience between in-store and online, offering personal service and other logistical details like shipping options. Culture is about understanding today’s customer and what they value, executed through storytelling. Curation is about simplifying the product offering to amplify the seamless experience.

Listen to the episode to learn about why Chen thinks the mobile phone is the biggest transformation for retail. To hear more ideas and stories about retail's transformation, head to NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show in New York City next week.

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