A few decades ago before the surge of the new technologies, retail only meant a physical store. The retail industry has changed totally in the past few years. Internet and the development of the e-commerce has changed the industry and the consumer behavior. Also, the new technologies have enabled consumers to research and shop anytime and anywhere.
However, even if the way of buying goods has changed for consumers, the motivation behind their purchases are the same. They want their goods as soon as possible, and at a reasonable price.
As part of my end-of-studies internship, I am currently working in Brand Management at Luxottica in Singapore. According to Luxottica’s own website, “Luxottica is a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of fashion, luxury, sports and performance eyewear. Among its core strengths, a strong and well-balanced brand portfolio includes proprietary brands such as Ray-Ban or Oakley, and prestigious licensed brands such as Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bulgari, Chanel or Dolce & Gabbana.” The company is currently in a process of merger with a top French company: ESSILOR.
As part of my internship, I am currently responsible for the Luxury Brands Portfolio and manage a portfolio of 7 eyewear brands (Coach, D;G, Giorgio Armani…) across 4 markets (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore) in South East Asia.
The reason why I am writing my thesis about the technology in the retail industry is because during the past few years, I have developed a strong interest towards the retail industry, and I got very excited by the new technologies: which is the reason why as part of my last year of study, I decided to study the future of retail, and especially how the new technologies are changing the way we purchase goods. In this thesis, I will discuss the profound impact that technology is having on brick-and-mortar retailers and explain how retailers that understand the implications of these changes, and adapt their retail business models to these new technologies will be successful. Luxottica is contributing for 85% of the market share of the eyewear industry. It is very important for such a big retail company like Luxottica to understand how the technologies will impact the retail industry.
In the first part of this thesis, my main focus will be the explosive growth of E-commerce. Then, I will discuss about the new retail store formats integrating new technologies, and to conclude, I will talk about how Artificial Intelligence is redefining the retail experience.
In this thesis, all my analysis and my insights have been based on the survey I had conducted on 40 people.
1.1Origins of Shopping:
Shopping malls have been existing since a very long time. In ancient Greece, the central shopping area of the villages was called “the agora” and it was defined as a vaste, open area in which people were displaying and selling their products.
Shopping malls are not the result of wise planners deciding that suburban people, having no social life and stimulation, needed a place to go (Bombeck, 1985). The mall was originally conceived of as a community center where people would converge for shopping, cultural activity, and social interaction (Gruen ; Smith, 1960).
The huge expansion of the malls started in 1960. At this date, in the United States, there was approximately 4000 malls contributing for 15 % of the total retail sales. In 1976 there was 16400 shopping centers representing 34% of the total sales. In 1987, there were 29000 malls contributing for more than the half of the retail sales. Today, shopping centers are now everywhere in our daily lives.
Since the mid 90’s, internet has become a big disruption in the retail industry. People can now search for the product that they want online, place their orders, and get it deliver in a few days at their own home. The B2C business model has made it very convenient for shoppers to choose a product online from a retailer’s website and to have it delivered very fast. Using online shopping methods, people do not need to go in-store, and save much more time, and also the cost of the travel.
Shoppers enjoy going to shopping centers. We like to see the product, touch it, as well as the contact with the sales staff asking for more advices, or simply the fact of being treated well, like in the luxury shops.
According to a report from Brennan Bridget in Forbes in 2015 “If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female. Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of their buying power and influence. Influence means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something herself, she is often the influence or veto vote behind someone else’s purchase.”
In this report, we can also see that Women are the world’s most powerful buyers. Their global impact on the economy is growing more and more every year. According to EY, The global incomes of women are predicted to reach a staggering $18 trillion by 2018.
1.2 Research Problem:
The objective of this thesis is to analyze the new strategic opportunities that digital is bringing to the current traditional retailers.
Berman defines retailing as “the business activities involved in selling goods and services to consumers for personal, family, or household use. It is the last stage in the distribution process”.
With the very fast growth of digital and the new ways of buying product online, the retail concept needs to be review due to the changes that these new technologies are bringing to consumers.
The objective of most of the companies it to reach a point where the company is sustainable. In order to do that, they need to innovate.
Since a few years, we assist to a mobile revolution which is completely reshaping the retail industry with a fast-growing number of people using everyday their phones to buy products.
This Thesis has for objective to explore the opportunities that these new technologies are bringing to the retailers, and how these retailers are going to adopt the new technologies in their business model in order to keep their business healthy.
1.3 Research questions
This thesis demonstrates a structure to identify the main disruptive technologies for current brick-and-mortar retailers. First of all, in order to do that, we will need to understand the aspects that affect the behavior of the modern consumer.
What are the reasons behind buying product and/or services, and what are the most important factors in the consumer’s journey. Here is the first research question :
1.Why is E-commerce the fastest growing retail channel ?
Digital transformation has impacted how people exchange value with each other. In this thesis, we will examine the opportunities created by these digital technologies and the new strategies that retailers needs to adopt in order to stay profitable. This ideas are reflected in the second research question :
2.How physical retail stores will be integrating new technologies, and which one ?
After that, we will go more into details and understand how one of the most promising technology can really have a huge impact on the retail industry in-store, as well as online. This appears in the third research question articulated below.
3.How Artificial intelligence is redefining the retail experience ?
2.E-Commerce, the main disruptive force in the retail industry.
2.1 History of E-commerce
Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) can be defined as the fact of purchasing and selling goods or services on a platform through the internet.
There are six main e-commerce models in which we can classify businesses:
The first one is the B2C approach (Business to Consumer). This approach is characterized as the commercial activity between a company and an Individual. This model is one of the most famous model use in e-commerce. For example, when a shopper buys a TV from an online TV retailer.
The second one is the B2B approach (Business to Business). This model is defined as the commercial activity between two business entities, like a supplier and a retailer for example. This e-commerce model cannot be seen by the consumer since it only happens between businesses. We can also talk about Inter-business relation
The third one is the C2C approach (Consumer to Consumer). The oldest e-commerce model existing is the C2C ecommerce business model described as all the exchanges of goods and services between several consumers. EBay and Amazon, for example are the 2 most famous C2C ecommerce website, but there are lots of others. In Singapore, Carousel is also very used for C2C transactions.
The fourth one is the C2B approach, (Consumer to Business). C2B overturns the traditional e-commerce model. Consumer to business (C2B) is a business model in which consumers are at the service of the company by bringing a product or a service, and not the opposite as it is the case traditionally. This is a model which is for example often see in Crowdfunding projects.
The fifth one is the B2A approach (Business to administration). This e-commerce business model gathers the transactions happening between online businesses and administrations. It is not the most used model, but still important to be aware of it.
The last one is rarely used, but is call the C2A approach (Consumer to administration). Same model here, but with the reverse method, which mean that consumers sells products or services online, to an administration.
Ecommerce appeared approximately 35 years ago and since the last few years, it keeps growing. Thanks to the digital transformation of the economy, and the multiple innovation, we can see more and more businesses investing in e-commerce in order to have an online presence. We have seen different stage in the development of e-commerce.
It all started in the 60’s when the improvement of the technologies led to the electronic data exchanges. Just after the 90’s online retailing really started to see a huge increase.
The 90’s is the period of time when it really begins. Even if Pizza Hut claims to be the first company selling online, the first online purchase that has been made was actually in August 1994 by Dan Kohn, a 21 years old American student who set up a website call NetMarket. The product he sold was a CD that he sold to one of his friend. This was the first online transaction using encryption. Encryption is a technology that basically keeps the data safe like credit cards details, between the parties involved. After this, the e-commerce industry started to quickly grow. In 1997, the computer company DELL has become the first IT company to announce an online sale record of 1 million dollars made in only one day. In 2003, 20% of Americans possess a computer with broadband in their house, which means that we see a huge increase of people starting to have internet in their homes, so spending more and more online. This had a huge impact on e-commerce sales, and online sales increased by 24% in 2014. Also, big players like Amazon increased their sales by 26% and keep growing since 2003. (See annex page X Net sales of Amazon from 2004 to 2015.)
Also, the fact that people started to have their own laptop with their own internet connection meant that of course, people were buying more online, but also the way people were buying product has changed. Now, individuals are spending more time researching about the product information before purchasing, as well as checking out the price of the same product on different platform. Amazon and EBay were the 2 most important e-commerce platforms since the beginning of the ecommerce rise. Amazon has started very early to make revenue through affiliate marketing. We can define affiliate marketing as the fact of allowing other websites to earn money if they mention Amazon products to their clients. 41% of Amazon revenues is made through Affiliate Marketing.
Also, the expansion of PayPal has also totally changed the way people buy product online. PayPal streamlined the customer experience. They are basically using the encryption technology in order to allow customers to make financial transactions between computers. Due to the growth of Mobile commerce, PayPal is now one of the biggest winner of the mobile commerce revolution.
Started from 2010, the growth of mobile phone owners has totally affected the way e-commerce works. According to the graph in page X annex X The growth of mobile Commerce, we can see that the online purchase through smartphone have significantly increased from 2012 to 2016. In 2016, 31 billion dollars have been spent through mobile transaction. It represents almost 8% of the total e-commerce transaction and this number will keep growing over the years. Also, one of the consequences of the growth of mobile adoption is the way consumers are shopping. Right now, shoppers are spending much more time researching a product before they buy it. According to a research from GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of the shoppers are making research on a product before they buy it. With the easiness to the internet access, consumers are using google to look for great deals online, wherever they are. It can be from home in their bed, in the metro, the bus, etc.
Social networks have also changed the way shoppers purchased product with their chosen e-commerce retailers. Thanks to social networks, products and brands are much more reachable for the consumers since they can access it anywhere anytime. Also, the power a brand has online is really important. Shoppers have higher expectation of a brand on social and on digital in general. The e-merchandising of a product is the priority number one for the retailers. If a brand website doesn’t look nice enough, the shopper will just go see a competitor’s brand and buy it. Also, thanks to social media like Facebook, it has allowed new opportunities for companies and brands to sell their product online. Facebook has more than 2 billions active user monthly. The fact that products can be displayed and allow shoppers to buy directly on this social platform is bringing online sales to another level.
Online sales on social networks have a bright future, buying product on Facebook is easy, fast, and convenient. Users simply need to click on the ‘buy’ button of the post, place the order, and add to basket, without even leaving their newsfeed. This is a great opportunity to gain brand awareness, new customers, and target impulse shoppers.
2.2 The unstoppable growth of E-Commerce and the reasons behind it
dire que j’ai eu ces chiffre par mon interview (8 sur 10 etc…) comme ca ca montrera que je l’ai anaylser : « en fonctiond e mon interview que j’ai faite, vous trouverez ici les 5 raison pour lesquelle…)
Thanks to all the advantages of buying products online, more and more people say they prefer online shopping than in-store shopping.
In 1999, e-commerce sales contributed for 0.2% of the total retail sales. In 2015, this number went up to 7.2%. E-commerce sales have been growing nine times faster than physical retail in 15 years.
After some research, I have highlighted, and explained bellow the 5 main reason that makes people buy online:
1- Convenience reason :
The most disruptive force that e-commerce has brought in the real world is the convenience. Convenience to buy anything from anywhere and knowing exactly what day it is going to get delivered and where. 7 shoppers out of 10 judge the fact of getting their order within 1 day is a strong asset for an online platform.
When buying a product online, consumers also want to have a very convenient return mechanic system, when a product is not fitting them. 75% of consumers thinks that that free returns and exchanges are more likely to make them spend their money online that in a traditional retail shop.
2- Cost Reason
Without any hesitation, the price of a product is the most important factor that affects online shopper behavior. 90% of the consumers compare prices on the different online platform before buying a product, and 65% decide if they are going to buy online of in-store based on which one has the cheapest price.
The only thing that makes people not buy online even if they are ready to do so, is the shipping cost. 1 consumer out of 2 have left a basket because the price of the shipping cost was making their purchase not worth it anymore. More and more ecommerce platform have understood this restraint, and are starting to set up free delivery mechanic in order for their shoppers to buy.
3- Feeling Acquainted
Even if price is the most important factor, it is not the only concern that an online shopper has in mind. Since e-commerce consumer cannot touch the product directly on a website, shoppers wants to learn as much as possible about the product there are ready to buy before actually buying it. 8 shoppers out of 10 confirm that the detail of the product and all the information of it are essential before proceeding to the payment, and 59% of them would like to see different product shot of the item took under different angle. Also, 98% of the consumers who are shopping online says they leave the website on which they were planning to buy if there is a lack of information. To sum up, in their online journey, the 3 most important things consumers care about is the convenience of the website, the easiness of finding the products that they want in special categories as well as the information about the product. An online platform who owns these assets will perform 2.5 times better than a normal e-commerce website.
It’s a fact. People like to know what other people think about the other products, principally when they are about to buy a product they never had before. This is the big advantages of online platforms toward the traditional in-store retailers where, other than a salesman, no one can give you advices and trustworthy opinion about the item. Almost 70% of the online shoppers read the review about the product before buying it. Online reviews have a big impact on the shopper’s point of view about the product.
Online retailers must display the product reviews noticeable so that shoppers can feel confident about making purchases. Companies should not hide the bad reviews about the products, otherwise, shoppers are not going to trust a platform which only display great reviews.
5- Having Personalized guidance
Due to the huge number of products available online, consumers can sometimes be lost in the online world, which is the reason why 40% of the shoppers say that they quit an e-commerce website to go buy the same product on another one because they felt bad having too many choices that did not correspond to their needs.
The solution of this problem is to target what people really want. Most of the people already know what they want to buy when they reach an online platform. If personalized guidance are offered to a shopper based on his previous purchases, he will be more likely to spend more, and the most important, to come back for his next purchase.
Approximately 8 shoppers out of 10 say having been guided by personalized promotions online. Most important thing is that more than the half of consumers say they are more chances that they are going to buy from a brand or an e-tailer that is going to send them some personalized EDM. Of course, once again it is logical. People love when they receives personalized email with their name on it, guiding them to buy a specific product.
According to the graph annex XXX coming from KPMG and dating from 2017 and explaining the reasons why consumers shop online instead of in-store, we can see that the Top 2 reasons are convenience and price related. Of course, the ranking of these reasons might change according to the culture, age, and lots of other factors, but still, convenience and price are from far the most important factors.
? Interview guide / Why do you like about buying online ? ? pretend I did a research and show question at the end.
Also, commenter les autres raison du graph “it is so much better for a consumer to not queue and be able to play for his item instantenely etc…” people don’t like to wait…
Also, I created an interview guide and I have asked people question about why do they like to buy online.
Here are some quote : faire un resume en mode jai interviewer plein de personne de nationalité differente et en analysant les result, on trouve que les asiat preferent ca ca et ca, les europeen ca ca et ca, “I like to check out the new trends on e-commerce website in bed”.
2.3 The bright future of E-commerce platforms
Online retailing definitely has a bright future. The retail industry is currently at a turning point due to the huge growth of the online market.
Online retailers are building fresh and exciting assets in the old retail business model which is not working anymore, which is the reason why online purchased keep growing over the years.
A few years ago before the apparition of online retailing, Going to department stores was seen as a place to go to buy many different product in one place only. However, the world is changing super fast and habits changed. the 2 main things that online commerce bring to people is first of all, saving time, and then the convenience of buying product from anywhere as long as people have an internet conection. Nowadays, shoppers wants to have as much choice as possible, and get their product delivered as fast as possible.
Nowadays, pretty much all the big retailer have an online presence, and even a dedicated e-commerce website. In the next few years, e-commerce is definitely growing to grow. It only represent approximately 10% of the total retail sales. More and more offline retailers are already offering a much wider product range online. Shoppers understood very fast the convenience of purchasing online. It’s less expensive and faster. It’s also cheaper for the retailer since there is no inventory cost.
The e-commerce market share in 2018 is expected to contribute to almost 12% of the total retail sales. Of course, in-store purchased are still going to remain the most important channel where shoppers buy products. Shopping is seen as a hobby and people will still continue to like the fact of touching an item before buying it. On the graph bellow, we can see according to Shopify that online sales are going to contribute for almost 20% of the total retails sales in 2021, so in less than 3 years In the next few years, the e-commerce industry is expected to move very fast due to the implementation of voice search, Omni channel, multi-channel, and multi device options that are emerging very fast. On top of that, we see a huge surge in the m-commerce consumption, and retailer needs to adapt very fast their strategy to this new trend.
Voice assistants is a concept which is already used to buy products by 39% of the millennial, and this number is expecting to reach more than 50% by 2022. The digital transformation of the retail industry will keep growing over the years since shoppers are adopting new way of buying, and digital is definitely part of it. The first thing retailers need to think of is to set up a personalized strategy : Customer experience modification is for everyone, not only for the big online platforms like Alibaba or Amazon. Even the small online retailers needs to adopt a personalization strategy. In next 2 years, the tendency of “personalization” will be a key aspect in the differentiation strategy of an online platform in order to keep the customers coming back to the website.
Retail companies who manage to implement this customer transformation will for sure win customers’ loyalty. The reason is that today, shoppers do not wish to lose time to look for products and information that do not suit them. According to a report from BCG, retailers and brands which implemented personalization focus strategies are making between 7 to 11% gain rise, and two time faster than the other normal retailers.
In order for the retailer to implement a differentiation strategy, there are a lot of ways to do it. For example, Big players like amazon or Alibaba or Lazada suggests products customers may like based on the preceding research of product the shoppers have done. Netflix propose other movies, series, and documentaries based on what people have watched before. This personalization strategy can also perfectly fit a small company, they can for example send an email and ask if the shopper is looking for anything in particular. In 2016, in the whole world, 2.1 billion people used their smartphone to purchase something. Even if not every online shopper buy with their smartphone, a bit more than 90% of the consumer look for a product information online before they really buy it. Also, another report from google show that 79% of the shoppers start to buy a product or a service on one electronic device, and then they actually purchase it on another device. This report is very clear, it means that 2018 will be all about the integration of the online e-commerce platforms and the electronic devices. Existing on multiple channel is good, but clearly not enough. All these devices will need to be connected between each others, in order for the shoppers to feel like he is dealing with one organism, and not many different part of it. All the aspects of digital marketing needs to be included together. Retail companies are already starting to adopt an Omni channel strategy, and this will be necessary to survive in the next few years.
In 2018, M-commerce will start to grow at a very fast rate. Smartphone will reach 69% of E-Commerce traffic in 2019 and a lot more shoppers will be buying directly through their mobile. According to a report coming from the Boston Consulting Group, m-commerce revenue in 2018 will match the total e-commerce earnings of 2013, which is a little bit more than 600 billions dollars. Big tech players like, Apple, or Samsung are organizing their payment system in such an easy way that it makes mobile purchase the favorite way of paying for a lot of shoppers. For example, in the united states, 9% of the total orders for Starbucks have been made through the mobile app as well as Pay app. Also, these people buying online are usually spending 2 times more than the normal buyers.
As we mentioned before, convenience is the number one factor for online shoppers. They want their product being delivered as fast as possible, and decide where to get it delivered. The current delivery market is super competitive, but companies who want to succeed in this new digital world will need to find even faster, and more efficient delivery process. The online retail platform Redmart in Singapore, is actually asking you to choose what day and what time you want to get your item being delivered at your place. Also, companies must find a way to bring their online customer in-store through in-store pick-up. The online and offline should not be separate but must be linked to each other.
Emerging market potential
with the growth of e-commerce around the world, companies keep exploring new markets opportunities. It’s time for businesses to look for new geographies. A very interesting fact is that almost half of the Chinese population is regularly purchasing products online. The three region of the world in which we can expect huge growth is India, South East Asia, and Latin America. Indonesia is the country of SEA where the potential is the biggest. In this country, there is a huge number of people using internet and especially on smartphone. In these regions of the world, the penetration rate is positioned between 3 and 7%, which is a very low percentage, and this number should reach 33% in 2021.
2.4 The main challenges of the E-Commerce Industry.
Like in all the fast-growing industries, e-commerce will continue to face some issues and obstacles. Based on my research, I have found out some key obstacles that e-commerce is going to face in the coming years :
According to a study from JANA, from 2000 to 2011, the number of mobile phone subscriber in developed nations has increased from 500 million to 1.5 billion. In developing nations, subscriptions increased from 250 million to 4.5 billion. In 2011, only 35% of the Americans had a smartphone whereas in 2016, almost 80% had one. This number basically doubled in 5 years. The insight of this study is that having a website adapted to mobile is now a must for the retailers. Based on a report from Goldman Sachs, 33% of the Europeans purchase products directly from a smartphone. Since more and more people are buying online. The most critical thing that online platform will need to adapt is the content. A mobile screen is smaller than a laptop one. Retailers will need to use adaptable content on multiple online platforms as well as very simple and easy to understand interfaces. A recent study from the famous consulting group BAIN has shown that 61% of the shoppers do not find the m- sites convenient.
Machine learning is a part of Artificial Intelligence. It’s an algorithm that can work independently in order to save, and analyze data. As we have recently seen, personalization is going to be a key sales drivers for online platforms, and machine learning will be the biggest assets for e-retailers to adopt this strategy. Even if it is still not very famous, most of the big companies are already using ML. Facebook for example with its automatous facial recognition software when it is about to tag people on the pictures. Machine learning is still not exploited as much as companies would like it to be. Most of the algorithms needs a huge number of data in order to give recommendations and insights, and this is expensive. From 2018 to 2020, we will definitely see a major boost in term of research in Machine learning, even if it will take time to perfectly master this new technology in order to make it as useful and profitable as possible.
Nowadays, all the decision taken in a company to improve the sales are based out on data and it is becoming essential to develop these analysis tools. Thanks to the increase of data creation, it is becoming easier to analyze consumer behaviors, and taking decision based on the analysis done about it. The world is changing at a fast rate, and people as well. There are cultural differences that needs to be taken into consideration. An American e-commerce platform Amazon in the US for example is having a totally different approach and strategy than Alibaba in China. In Asia, the social side is very strong in the consumer journey. There is also another factor which is the generation. Most of the time, the millennials will not buy the same products as their parents generation, simply because their taste is not the same, or they will also maybe not buy at the same time. More and more insights will need to be analyze in the coming years, and this is a thing that is not going to be easy in this new e-commerce world.
In a near future, we can expect a few changes in the payment methods in e-commerce. First of all, a strong payment system is a must have for any e-commerce platforms. According to each part of the world, the preferences changes. In Japan, almost 20% of the transaction are made with Konbini, a local payment method whereas In Europe, like in Spain or France, respectively almost 100% and 60% of the transaction are made with a credit card like Visa, Master Cards, or American Express.In Asia, customers have a preference for Cash on Delivery compared to Europe. According to the graph bellow coming from VELA Asia in 2013, we can see that Cash on delivery represent almost 30% of the e-commerce payment method in Indonesia in 2013. India, Singapore, and all the other SEA countries shows a strong preference for Cash on Delivery, especially when it is about ordering food. Without surprise, the winning method is to accept the paiement method that the customers like the most.
Of course, if an online platform is only selling digital downloads that can be store on the cloud, like music or video, there is no need for a supply chain process. However, for most of the online platforms, a strong, efficient, and cost effective logistic system is necessary. Indeed, having a good logistic process is a real added value for a company, online and offline. Due to the fast-moving and challenging industry, it is becoming harder and harder for e-retailer to adapt their logistic process to the consumer needs. Customers have in mind that the website where the product is purchased is responsible to make sure that the product will arrive on time. In the US, Domino pizza has perfectly known how to manage customers expectation with their famous 30min pizza free delivery policy. Basically, if you don’t get deliver within 30minutes after your purchase, your pizza is free.
On top of the complicated industry which is e-commerce, the logistic process needs to be adapted to the type of commercial activity related to the business.
3 New retail store format integrating digital technologies
3.1 Managing the Customer interface by integrating an Omni-channel retail strategy
In the retail industry, An Omni Channel Strategy aims to give a 360 degree shopping experience to the shoppers by allowing the customers of buying product through as many channel as possible (Online + Offline)
With the current digital transformation of the economy, companies start to have more and more opportunities to gain customers, as well as making them spend more with a new ‘Online – Offline” Ecosystem. Even if there are already tons of way that companies are using to promote their products, all of them are not linked to each other’s, and this is the thing that people want. Shoppers expect a soft and coherent shopping experience across all the connected channels and platforms, and this is the meaning of an Omni Channel Strategy.
An Omni channel strategy regroup the offline and online system to offer to the customers wider opportunities in term of shopping channels. According to a recent study coming from Salesforce, 55% of the shoppers would accept to pay more for a better service and quality experience.
The gap of online and offline in retail is currently very blurred but still different. Thanks to the Omni-Channel strategy, the shoppers are going to be influence by a new way of buying product, and the consequence of it will be that the consumers will reshape the online and offline retail models. Right now in the current retail business, anyone with an internet access can search the information of a product online on their phone, then go inside a brick and mortar retail store, but it happens that the store doesn’t have stock anymore, so the shopper will buy it online.
The millennials customers now are the one spending most of the time online (see graph bellow). As a consequence, this new generation is giving work to marketers to rethink, and build new strategies on how to combine the offline, and online. Shoppers are always expecting products and services to be always available when they want to buy it, so in order to do that companies must know how to display these information in live. People in the current business world like to know everything about the product they buy. In order for a business to target these people and this new millennials generations, business need to allow them to have the right information available at the right place and at the right moment. Some companies already started to implement this Omni Channel Strategy like Sephora for example, and more and more retail companies are going to follow this path. It gives a huge competitive advantage, retain customers, and of course improve the sales.
For a company, being able to adapt a strategy to the customers expectation is a key factor if it want to be successful. Based on the research I have done, I have highlighted bellow the 3 key advantage for a retail business to use an Omni channel strategy :
1- The first one of course is the improvement of the brand image of the company. As mentioned before, the fact of using an Omni-Channel strategy allows a very smooth evolution from in-store purchase to online purchase, which make it very easy or consumer.
2- The second one is the sale increase. The appearance of the new technologies have really affected the way retail business are selling their brands, and to think strategically. However, those with the possibility to check the stock availability have a better chance to improve their sales.
3- The third great advantage of adopting an Omni channel strategy is to collect data. Adopting an Omni cannel strategy mean gathering a lot of data for companies. With these data, they can analyze them, and generate accurate insight in order to improve their strategy. This collection of data allow a business to make sure they understand the customer behavior, and not lose track of their KPI.
Retailer need to understand that their customer is the first thing that they need to understand I they want to run a successful sustainable business. In order to analyze their customer, companies need to heavily invest in data analysis software. The second important thing for retailer is to heavily invest in mobile technology for their customer to get a higher level of personalization. Retail companies will also need to heavily invest in digital in-store, digital screen, digital sign, virtual room, an all the other technologies that will able the shopper to enjoy the journey in the store.
The strategy of the Omni-channel is to provide consistent, unique and circumstantial brand experiences crosswise various touchpoints. It can be a retail store, but also an online platform accessible by mobile or laptop. This 360° strategy is all about allowing the customers to buy the product wherever they are with a fully connected touchpoint ecosystem.
Starbucks has recently expanded its mobile app to allow customers to order and pay before they arrive at a store. When a customer places an order, the app provides a list of closest Starbucks stores and estimated wait times for their orders. When you have selected a store, the application can also provide instructions if necessary. Customer’s Starbucks card is used for payment. Apple has done a lot to ensure that its mobile app and its physical activities support each other to increase revenue. When a customer orders an item online to pick it up at the store, he receives a notification when the mobile device is near the store. The notice displays information about the order that the customer can then present to a seller.
The Belgian supermarket chain Carrefour has introduced a concept of online cooking in its stores throughout Belgium. Customers can scan or talk about items to add to an online shopping list. When customers are ready to place orders online, orders can be sent home or picked up at a local store.
Ralph Lauren has recently presented its new Polo collection through the innovative use of NFC and QR codes in the windows of Harrods. When a customer has analyzed a code or inserted an NFC sticker, a landing page describing the collection is displayed on the phone. The home page is linked to an interactive map with further information on the collection. Although the store was closed, a connection was made to the Harrods mobile website.
Lancôme Giant Cosmetics recently collaborated with “RichRelevance” to increase the level of customization they can offer their customers online and in-person. Customers create an online profile with their preferences combined with Lancôme know-how, products that work with skin types and current local trends. This information can therefore be used both online and in the store. Recommendations change according to consumer behavior, taking into account information on prices and stocks. The basic idea is to make it as simple as possible for customers to buy things they want to have at some point.
The famous consulting group McKinsey has conducted a research in the United States in 2016 in order to understand the behavior of the consumer and also to study if an Omni Channel can really bring an added value to a retail business. 50 000 customers have been asked about the way they do shopping and what are the shopping channel that they are using when they buy a product. The result of the study is the following: 12% of them were using only online channel to buy products. 19% of them were only using traditional retail stores, and 69% were using online and offline channel. This study has also showed that if a customer shops on different channel, he is more likely to spend more. An omni-channel customers usually spent 5% more in-store, and 9% more on an online platform than a single user platform customer.
3.2 A closest relationship between E-commerce platforms and Retail Stores
Due to the integration of the Omni channel strategy by a lot of retailer, we can wonder how the brick and mortar traditional retail format will evolve. Since a few years, we start to see a new format coming alive as a new retail format: The Showrooming. Even if online shopping is booming, retail stores will still be the most important source of revenue of brands. The retail stores have an advantage that online commerce doesn’t have, customers can see and touch the products in real life. However, the format of retail stores might not be the same that it is now in a few years.
The showrooming is the fact of using a POS as a spot to display products. The objective of this strategy is to make the shoppers aware of the available range of product, so he can see it, touch it, and buy it later online.
This showrooming notion is still not very famous, but will start to appear more in 2020. The real strategy of this is to give to the shoppers an amazing customer experience in-store.
In term of organization, showrooming is definitely creating a new retail store format. For example, the flagship stores will be very digital focus, with big panel displaying product description, and very focus on the brand’s values. These big changes mean that there will be much less stock in store and it will bring another way of buying product from the customers. Showrooming is exactly the strategy that is using Adidas in New York. There is only one single pair of sneaker in its stores, in order to bring the shopper to their online platform.
With this approach, Adidas has known how to highlight the shopper experience in-store and the perception of personalization. The consequences of this new retail format definitely has an impact on the organization, especially in term of the role of the sale staff. The current job of the sales advisors is to sales. Now, with the showrooming, they will have as a primary role to make the customer happy, and make him have an amazing in-store experience. This can be done through explaining the brand history to the customer, with a strong focus on story telling. Also, something that will change with the digital growth of the retail industry is the cashier, there won’t be cashier anymore in retail store. Everything will be done online, through mobile phone or others way of payment in a context of “Store to Web”.
We hear a lot about the difficulties of traditional retail chains, which suffer from competition from online retailers. In the latest news, Alibaba.com will pay $ 2.87 billion to buy 36% of Sun Art Retail Group, the largest chain of hypermarkets in China. The reason was clearly expressed by Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba: “Physical stores play an indispensable role during the consumer journey and, in the era of the digital economy, should be improved thanks to data-driven technologies and personalized services “. Alibaba was a precursor to this trend, investing $ 9.3 billion last year in traditional stores since 2015, including bars and coffee shops, supermarkets and concept stores. Last summer Amazon paid $ 13.7 billion to buy Whole Foods, allowing the online giant to access the most sought-after and high-density markets almost overnight. Amazon also announced a partnership with Kohl’s to offer free returns at 82 stores in stores in Los Angeles and Chicago. Amazon has also opened 13 bookstores, mainly on the east and west coasts; and two upcoming openings have also been announced. Lately, the online giant also opened a revolutionary cashier in Seattle, Washington.
Even digital retailers are becoming physical retailers. It is very obvious that the retail industry is in a transition phase. One of the main reasons for these retailers to be interested in the offline world is that they realize that a physical presence is a fundamental component in the shopper journey. The reality is that in most of the time during the shopping journey, consumers still want to be able to touch and feel the products before buying them. The most common scenario is to go to a local store to examine the product closely, before ordering online. And if customers want to return a product they have purchased, many prefer the safety net of return to a physical store. For example, if you bought a pair of shoes that does not suit you, returning the item can be a long and boring procedure. That’s why a physical presence is so important, whether it’s an in-store partnership like amazon, or a branded stores, where returns and exchanges can be made more easily.
New channels, voice applications such as Amazon from Alexa to connected devices and interactive showcases appear continuously. It is expected that multi-channel sales, driven mainly by the launch of new digital channels, will evolve rapidly to provide a 360 Omni channel experience as we were seeing before, that meets the customer expectations.
In the United States, Amazon has captured almost 50% of the current e-commerce market, but around 85% of sales are still offline. And in China’s thriving retail market, 80% of transactions are made in stores. Our online life has become so important that we often overlook the fact that most retail sales are still offline. The current contribution is approximately 85% offline, and 15% online. Nike’s new strategy is to adopt a local approach, with a new campaign to promote “local companies worldwide” by developing services for clients in 12 cities, starting from London. This approach could lead to the development of highly targeted products for these strategic cities, which should represent 80% of the company’s growth in the coming years. Retailers must also think of innovative ways to overcome the last frontier of the customer experience. IKEA’s creative acquisition of the do-it-yourself service from Task Rabbit will help ensure customer satisfaction by eliminating one of the most complex aspects of a customer’s journey: assembling furniture. The retail industry is currently changing at a fast speed and with great and exciting transformation. The customer experience does not end when a customer leaves a store or closes their browser. The cornerstone of the new retail world is the combination of data-driven e-commerce solutions with a focus on experience and traditional stores to offer smooth customer travel without interruption.
The new challenge of the O20:
According to Investopedia, “Online-to-offline commerce is a business strategy that draws potential customers from online channels to make purchases in physical stores. Online-to-offline commerce, or O2O, identifies customers in the online space, such as through emails and internet advertising, and then uses a variety of tools and approaches to entice the customers to leave the online space. This type of strategy incorporates techniques used in online marketing with those used in brick-and-mortar marketing. O2O is related to but not the same as the concepts of “clicks-to-bricks”.
Just like Amazon Go freshly introduced with its disruptive and connected experience, Asia, and especially China, also advance these pawns in the field of O2O (Offline to Online or Online to Offline). Two years ago, Alibaba invested $ 692 million in a Hangzhou shopping center operator (21 million people) to provide the benefits and convenience of online service in physical stores. As recently as August 2015, Alibaba invested $ 4 billion to take 20% of Suning, a leader in consumer electronics distribution with 1,600 stores. Suning and Alibaba launched a $ 700 million investment in June 2016 to encourage and promote online and connected services to the public. With e-commerce accounting for only $ 630 billion and 13.5% of China’s total retail, both companies see an interest in motivating awareness. Suning’s physical network supports this development. Thus, the 5500 customer service centers already welcome customers of Tmall, Alibaba’s B2C platform.
Alliances, however, do not seem all conclusive. Wanda (the first Chinese real estate company), Tencent (WeChat) and Baidu (search engine) proudly announced a generously funded $ 815 million JV to launch the “ffan.com” platform to connect WeChat and Baidu technologies with shopping malls of Wanda. Unfortunately, two years later in August 2016, Tencent and Baidu leave the ship. WeChat houses a shopping platform within its application. According to a McKinsey Digital study (iConsumer China 2016 Survey), 31% of 750 million WeChat users use it in 2016 to shop. A figure up 100% from 2015.
It would be good to see the completion of an alliance project of tech giants and shopping malls and see the emergence of synergies to develop the shopping experience and customer satisfaction. It is time to see situations where investments come to create a real omni-channel between the platforms through a multi-device and multi-environment content (in-store), analytical tools to parity between the two worlds, a customer service that really accompanies the customer throughout his buying experience and not just after. Amazon arrives with good weapons in the region and could well be the actor who knows how to make ends meet.
4. Artificial Intelligence Redefining The Retail Experience
4.1 The use of Artificial intelligence in E-Commerce
Artificial Intelligence still evokes only science fiction and robotics for some people. However, it still fits in all aspects of our daily lives. From automatic cash registers to advanced security controls in airports: nowadays, artificial intelligence is almost everywhere. And, little by little, it starts to interfere in E-commerce.
Moreover, many companies are already taking advantage of the latest advances in AI and machine learning to provide a better shopping experience for their customers. As it improves, artificial intelligence could therefore change forever, and will most likely change the landscape of e-commerce in the years to come. By definition, artificial intelligence is the ability of a machine to perform “smart” tasks, such as learning and decision-making, as a human being would do. Machine learning is a current AI application based on the idea that we should be able to give machines access to data and let them learn on their own. Applied to e-commerce and marketing, machine learning corresponds to the various methods of data analysis in which computers find information without being told exactly where to look for this information. ML algorithms, when exposed to massive amounts of data, can extract models and use them to generate ideas or predictions about future conditions.
Although still relatively new, artificial intelligence has already had a huge impact, in a short period of time, on industries such as finance or healthcare. And the benefits of AI are now starting to spread in e-commerce. It is important to note that artificial intelligence by itself is not a product, but a powerful tool for creating better products that meet the needs of customers. Even if it may seem paradoxical for a machine, the greatest strength of artificial intelligence is that it can help e-commerce to create a more human customer experience by personalizing it. Indeed, an online sales activity generates monumental volumes of data from dozens of channels. There is even too much data for a human being to know where to look for or even what he is looking for – the perfect conditions for machine learning. As a result, many e-retailers are already trying to differentiate themselves by using forms of AI to better understand their customers, generate new leads and provide an improved customer experience.
Personalization in e-commerce is not new. Many businesses and e-merchants currently use a filtering system to provide customers with product recommendations. These filters usually base their results on bestseller data, consultation history, and other general aggregation parameters. At best, the most successful referral systems can remember what your client likes. But, you will agree, all this remains a bit impersonal. “People who bought this product also bought this product” is not the best way to personalize an offer. This is where AI comes in. While the word “artificial” connotes some dehumanization, artificial intelligence instead allows merchants to set up a more personalized customer experience by providing recommendations to subscribers according to their preferences with the ability of AI to more effectively analyze than a human being from large data sets. This means that the technology can quickly analyze different aspects of the navigation behavior. Whenever a user examines a product, posts a message or even a tweet about it, the information can be used.
Artificial intelligence technology is also able to learn the interests, passions and triggers that make a consumer more likely to make a purchase. In other words, millions of transactions and communications can be analyzed each day to target offers to a single customer. By exposing machine learning algorithms to truly massive amounts of data, marketers can build automated analytic models that are not This is not limited by the ability of humans to suggest why some people buy particular products. Such AI-based applications can uncover better ways to model user behavior. Finally, technology facilitates: the sales process, by identifying who is most likely to buy a product (based on history of past purchases, demographics, etc.) customizing the sales cycle, allowing you to engage the right prospects with the right message at the right time Example of using the AI for personalized recommendations: Starbucks recently launched “My Starbucks Barista”, which uses AI to allow customers to move voice or email commands. The algorithm relies on a variety of inputs, including account information, customer preferences, purchase history, third-party data, and contextual information. The coffee giant can provide more personalized messages and recommendations to its customers. FIND CUSTOMER POTENTIALS According to a recent study, at least one third of prospects are not followed by the sales team. Which means that pre-qualified potential buyers interested in your product or service are forgotten. In addition, many companies are overloaded with customer data that they operate little, if at all. However, it is a gold mine that can be used to improve the sales cycle. In the retail industry, for example, artificial intelligence is used with facial recognition to capture a customer’s behavior in a specific way. shop. Basically, if a consumer lingers for a while in front of a product – a coffee maker for example – this information will be stored for use on his next visit. As AI improves and develops, you can even start seeing special offers on your computer screen based on your wait time in the store or even your reaction to a product. Microsoft offers for example “Mall kiosk”, which recommends products through facial or voice recognition of reactions.
Thanks to virtual assistants, online businesses can leverage AI to appropriately select and recommend products that a buyer wants and need, while avoiding the need for a buyer. to have to do all the research work in the catalog. For example, the integration of artificial intelligence to your CRM will customize your solutions and create an effective sales message. Indeed, if your AI system allows learning natural language and voice input, like Siri or Alexa, your CRM will respond to customer requests, solve their problems and even identify new sales opportunities. Better yet? Some AI-managed CRM systems can be multitasked to handle all these functions and more. In this case, artificial intelligence helps users dive deeper into e-commerce product catalogs to find the perfect item that otherwise might not be discovered. There are also several virtual assistant technologies online. These robots use large sets of data, collected in real time, to “learn” the buying habits, interests and personal tastes of users. Example of an online virtual assistant: You may have heard of “Mona”, the virtual sales assistant developed by former employees of Amazon. It helps simplify mobile shopping and offers customers the best deals to suit their preferences. The more time users spend interacting with the Mona robot, the better they will know it. The North Face brand harnesses the power of virtual assistants to better understand their customers while offering recommendations on -measured. With the help of IBM’s intelligence solution called Watson, the company allows buyers to discover their ideal jacket. In order to do this, several questions are asked to customers, such as: “where and when will you use your jacket? “. IBM’s software then scans hundreds of products to find the best matches based on correlated responses to other data, such as weather conditions.
At least 30% of online shoppers use the search function of an e-commerce trade. However, it is often a tedious task for the consumer who is forced to choose, then refine a keyword accurately describing the product he is looking for. The scenario often takes place in the following way: a consumer between “smartphone with the best camera “in the search bar. While a human interlocutor would immediately understand the request, or ask questions to get more details about the client’s needs, the numerical results provided are often beside the plate. In short, in most cases, the search does not lead to the expected result. This is explained by the lack of context concerning the user, the rigid and irrelevant filters, and the problems related to the understanding of the keywords. In fact, the algorithms of these e-commerce search engines have neither the practical intelligence nor the ability to understand a query with the nuances of the language. The key is to use the power of machine learning to ‘improve results for consumers who use research. The ML can also generate a search ranking, which allows the site to sort the search results by relevance, instead of matching a keyword. By doing so, e-commerce platforms will be able to transform a massive number of searches. research experiments fail in successful conversions. To replace text searches, a solution is also starting to be implemented: visual search – a technology that uses artificial intelligence to analyze a photo submitted by a customer, then find the product the visual search allows customers to take a picture of a product they like, and then download it. The AI software is then able to evaluate this specific product, its brand, its shape, its style, its fabric, its color, etc., and then to suggest similar products likely to interest the customer. Finally, in addition to using images to search for products they want to buy, consumers will be able to use voice search, this means that they will have the ability to search for objects using speech. Voice search uses AI to understand what is being said and to improve the recognition of voices and phrases. Voice research has been popularized with voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, forcing e-merchants to re -optimize their web pages, including their FAQ, to respond to voice-based searches.
A company that uses machine learning to provide better search results is eBay. With millions of items listed, the auction site harnesses the power of AI and data to predict and display the most relevant search results. Example of Using Visual Search: One of the Companies innovative in terms of visual search is Neiman Marcus. With its application “Snap. Find. Shop. The fashion and beauty brand allows users to take pictures of real-world objects and then find them in the catalog. IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE If your business deals with customers on a daily basis and you encounter recurring issues or questions, creating a chatbot is a good way to provide customers with information faster and more efficiently than a service representative. For simplicity, chatbots are automated programs that can “converse” with people to answer questions and perform specific task queries. They have been around for quite some time now, but have made considerable progress in their ability to adapt to the customer through the machine learning process. Concretely, chatbots can help to reduce customer service costs and better dialogue. with consumers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also offer a good opportunity to personalize consumer recommendations based on the conversation history and can actively take on some of the important responsibilities related to the execution of an online business, such as order process automation.
4.2 The use of Artificial intelligence In-Store
Artificial intelligence can also be used to redefines the customer experience in stores.
Retailers are beginning to explore how Artificial Intelligence could make stores more efficient, attractive and offer a more personalized dimension to customers. AI and Big Data, which have for some years collected an innumerable amount of data (behavioral, transactional, statistical). These data are more and more exploitable, which makes it possible to extend the field of actions of the various services (Marketing, Communication, Merchandising, HR) of the company. According to some analysts, for 2019 investments in Artificial Intelligence should triple.
Indeed, Artificial Intelligence will accelerate business decisions in the areas of marketing, e-commerce, product management, and other areas. It will help to link the strategic perspectives of companies and the actions to be taken. Customers want merchants to offer convenient, tailored and personalized services to everyone. A recent IBM study found that 48% of customers think it’s important for retailers to offer personalized promotions when they’re online, while 45% want the same discounts. In summary, customers are frustrated at not finding the same level of benefits present on the web in store.
The first use of AI in store is the Facial Recognition. Artificial intelligence offers a more personalized and personal multichannel experience between the brand and its customers. For example, The technology “Realtime Crowd Insights” developed by Microsoft, offers retailers the opportunity to perform a statistical analysis of the attendance of their stores, in real time, and without storing information, and to identify the sex, age range or emotions of the client. The advantage of this technology is orienting the good salesman towards the customer, as well as to adapt his behavior of the salesman to the state of mind of the consumer. Microsoft goes further and offers with “Mall kiosk” the recommendation of products based on the facial or vocal recognition of individuals and their reactions. Artificial intelligence also plugs into instant messengers. Microsoft recommends that brands “use these conversational agents to bring users to the store”. To be successful, “it is important that the bot keeps the history of the conversation,” advises Christophe Rit, reminding that in 2020, “according to the consulting firm Frost ; Sullivan strategy, the customer experience will be judged more important than the price of the product or the product itself.
The second most important use of the Artificial Intelligence in Retail is the use of Robots. These robots help retailers overcome the challenge of innovation by building humanoid robots to enrich their business. customer experience and transform the customer relationship with a robot advisor, rather than a human. Several advantages emerge from these robotic solutions:
The first one is a surprise effect. The robots revolutionize the customer relationship, acting as host and will accompany customers in their shopping journey according to their requests or desires. In the case of requests that are too complex, it will be possible to call on human resources. The second one is a new way of presenting the products and services: The Robots will be able to entertain, inform and optimize the performance of the sales force with the help of interactive animations and demonstrations. The last one is the transformation of the customer experience. Thanks to a close operating mode between the robot and the merchant’s CRM, the robots allows to personalize the experiences by collecting a history of customer preferences, of purchases customers in order to maximize the conversion rate.The future of robots will undoubtedly have access to customer data in real time through links with CRM. This will have the beneficial effect of not only being a consultant, but rather a full seller.
In the same spirit as the previous case, multiple brands are trying to differentiate themselves in the market by projecting themselves into the future thanks to the holographic advisor. Several buzz have already occurred recently, such as the meeting of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. A majority of professionals are skeptical about the value of this solution, apart from its attractive effect. Several start-ups and some traders, are therefore embarking on the optimization of this innovative technology by adding new bricks such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or even Big Data to constantly improve the experience customer. The principle has been deployed in the United States in a high-end store within the beauty area. This hologram of a counselor made the buzz and attracted the attention of customers, who were eager to go to the beauty department to challenge the hologram. The virtual aspect attracts the attention of customers by arousing their curiosity and their senses, thus creating value and added strength for retailers with these technological solutions.
Other technologies combined with artificial intelligence can also be beneficial for the retail sector such as biometrics for example. Biometrics can be part of an Omni-channel approach and serve retail for: Identification at the entrance stores, reliable authentication of the customer and avoid fraud; Allow a quick and secure purchase Once the customer enters a store, it can be identified voluntarily by his smartphone or a facial recognition system, at least the gender. This allows retailers to offer personalized offers and content or bypassing queues. The AIA allows retailers to better know their customers. It is by exploiting the customer data of the web, their behaviors, their styles, their characters, that the brands could potentially change the customer experience. By combining biometrics algorithms, machine learning and deep learning with customer data. retailers may be able to personalize their offerings, detect future potential, and predict trends in the retail market.
4.3 The limits of AI
As we seen before, Artificial intelligence is already affecting the retail industry. AI software and algorithms are rapidly improving and their possibilities are becoming more and more concrete. The e-commerce players as well as traditional retailers today exploit the artificial intelligence to “coach” their customers online and offline. There is no doubt that artificial intelligence technologies are set to take off considerably in retail, especially e-commerce. Like virtual coaches, conversational robots are now able to interact directly with the consumer on the net and respond to their requests via instant messengers such as Messenger or Whatsapp. However, this concept is still very new, and there are still lots of progress that needs to be done. This is the reason why it might not be fit the industry as soon as what some people think.
Artificial intelligence has all the attributes of a great revolution announced. His potential is a little more real every day, Intelligent objects and services have been tested in every aspect of our lives. From dating to delivery, through finance and sports, start-ups now anticipate the least of our problems and offer us more and more personalized services using AI. Under the guise of being practical, these services change the way we think about the world, our way of thinking and our own identity. With the emergence of machines that are learning, our world is becoming more and more disturbing and strange, and it is legitimate to wonder about its evolution.
It is necessary to talk about the limits of AI, while these tools are still at our service. Nobody wants to become the simple extension of flesh and bone of an algorithm. Innovation has always changed the way we think, and what we create influences us in return. The case of artificial intelligence is unique. It is materialized by tools that have their own intelligence and are not totally controlled. In pursuit of their internal logic, they improve in contact with millions of users, their growing influence with their intelligence. Artificial Intelligence services seem useful because they solve our problems, but in reality not really, since it also bring some issues.
The most important issues is the fact that Artificial Intelligence is going to cut jobs, and cutting jobs means replacing people by machines, which lead to 2 main issues :
According to a report dating from 2017 McKinsey reports automation will cut 400 to 800 million jobs in 2030 all industries covered, And 375 million workers will have to retrain. There is no doubt that technological change is significantly improving the lives of consumers. For businesses, certain activities that required many hours of work can be performed more accurately and in a shorter time by relying on these new technologies. In retail, the sales staff in stores are the first one that are going to be replaced by robots. Shoppers might not be ready yet to face a robot instead of a sale staff. A robot doesn’t have emotion, and shoppers like to talk to a real person while shopping, asking for a request for example. A robot is simply a electronic machine full of data and able to take a decision based on the data it has collected.