Shops and people will be more connected in the future, with shoppers demanding more personalisation in terms of communication, promotions and deals, research commissioned by Coca-Cola Enterprises and written by food and consumer goods expert IGD has found.
The findings, based on desk research, interviews with people across the industry and IGD’s monthly shopper research, also found that technology such as smartphones and ‘intelligent trolleys’ will enable stores to satisfy the desire for personalisation as people walk around the store, while social media and online forums will be sued more as people seek advice and reviews before purchasing.
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “There’s no single model for the store of the future. Each retailer will adopt a different approach, tailored by location, the demographic mix of the customer base and the particular needs each store attempts to meet.
“Some of these ideas are already in development, while the future will bring even more of them to life. One thing is for sure – as an industry we will not have thought of everything. That is why it’s so important to stay close to shoppers, as they will be the inspiration behind many innovative developments.
“We also have to keep in mind that we’ll need to improve the skills of our people, within both retailers and suppliers, to make these future concepts happen. Besides new technology and multichannel marketing, many of these concepts will also require greater collaboration and transparency right across the chain. This is where the true opportunities for innovation and differentiation will lie for companies.”
It was also predicted that consumers would demand fully transparent supply chains, with information on provenance and traceability, as well as its environmental and social impact. It was suggested that the information would be communicated on the shelf, on pack and online through smartphones.
Simon Baldry, managing director of Coca-Cola Enterprises GB, said: “We know that our category has plenty of room for growth and we are unlocking the opportunities through our strong partnerships across the trade and our focus on the needs of today’s shoppers.
“But we must always be thinking ahead – particularly when it comes to the incredibly dynamic retail environments in which people make their purchasing decisions – and this research has shaped our understanding of how we can continue to succeed in the future by meeting the requirements of both our customers and shoppers.
“As stores adapt to the world around them, we need to challenge ourselves to be more nimble and innovative across our business. This research also demonstrates clearly that sustainability must remain at the heart of everything we do. And, in an increasingly connected world, it’s clear from IGD’s work that the way in which all of us engage and interact with shoppers will change, not least when we think about the next generation of digital savvy consumers.”