Open Access

Reinventing the Retailer: Retaining Relevance and Customer Access


The retail sector is evolving from a structurally rather rigid and somewhat un-emotional mainstay in the economy to a most dynamic field where old business models cease to exist, and new business models and players are bustling. As more and more customers prefer the convenience of internet-based shopping and direct-to-home delivery, many traditional retailers are forced to break fresh ground.

Today, retailers must achieve relevance and meaning in the daily life of consumers and develop significance beyond the interaction in the store. They have to be easily accessible both physically and digitally. Retailers still need to fulfill the classic retail functions but on top they need to develop digitally-enabled value creation sources. How well they succeed in implementing automation, individualization, life-embeddedness, interaction as well as transparency and control will determine whether they will persist in the new retailing environment. Only those retailers will survive who are able to translate the new value adds into meaningful and positive experiences that last beyond the purchase itself.