If you’re developing an e-commerce strategy to position your business for success in the future, you can’t do it without giving some thought to what the store of the future will look like. We can assume it will be innovative, but in what way?
When people think of innovation, some imagine a widget that changes everything. But innovation doesn’t have to be a revolutionary new widget. It can be a new way of thinking, a shift that changes cultural expectations of how we buy, consume, or experience a product or service.
Innovating through Evolution
In fact, many times an industry innovation starts as an evolution instead of a revolution—think about it as an improvement or new take on an existing product or experience. Google Docs disrupted a market by taking existing productivity software concepts and adding online collaboration capabilities. Other industry-disrupting companies, such as Netflix, gained market share by offering existing services and products in a new way.
As you think about ways to innovate within your online store, remember that adding a new feature doesn’t always make an online site or app better. Consumers are looking for innovations that make it easier and faster to access and enjoy their product purchases.
Paying Attention to New Consumer Expectations
Today’s on-demand generation expects flexibility in the way they access and pay for products and services. Netflix recognized this early on and took an innovative path that positioned it for success.
When making plans to renovate your e-shop, think about how you can empower customers to interact with you on their own terms, online, through social media or in a virtual store. Consider fresh ways to develop and manage relationships. As innovators of the past and present show us, the store of the future’s genius might be in rewriting the rules rather than inventing a brand-new platform or product.
Moving beyond Traditional Shopping Experiences
Say goodbye to traditional buying processes and places when you think about the store of the future. Imagine a Wall of Commerce that allows customers to interact with products, select goods, and buy products for same-day delivery or instant pickup at a store.
In the store of the future, customers might use 3D printing to create unique products in any size, shape or color. Shopping venues may change dramatically, fusing shopping and entertainment to create a space where consumers can shop while watching their favorite shows or playing a popular game in a “shoppertainment” model.
One thing we can predict about the store of the future is that no one can be certain about what form it will take … and whether it’s an evolution or revolution, when its doors open for business, we’ll be in for an interesting and exciting adventure in our shopping experience!