The digital world moves into the physical store. And the lesson of the trade fair Retail’s Big Show is that it is not enough to have digital gadgets in your store – you need to provide an integrated experience.

Every year, those who work in and around what’s called trade meets at the Retail’s Big Show in New York. Around 35 000 visitors share the same interest, and the purpose is of course to try to understand what is the next step in retail – both online and offline. And not least for those of us who want to be a little bit of both.

Along with some consultants from Tieto researchers HUI Research has been attending the fair Retail’s Big Show 2016 and they presented the highlights of the fair and visit in New York at a seminar at Bygget in Stockholm.

The title of the seminar was “Disruptive retail”. The concept of disrupting is commonly used when talking about fundamentally changing a known business logic.

“What keeps the leaders in trade awake at night?”, asked Martin Karlsson from HUI Research and answered himself:

– It’s not the known competitors that worries leaders in trade. They have a good handle on them. The rub is what’s referred to as the “Uber-syndrome” – when a competitor with a completely different business model enters the stage.

Personally I don’t think that there were so many examples of disruptive business models, but the the seminar showed that things have developed a little bit from what was shown last year. Internet of things is going strong, robots as shop assistants are becoming more human in their behaviour and experience is the main word more than ever. (Nothing wrong with that, the visible and tangible progress is perhaps not as quick as we think?)

Fredrik Bergström (pictured) from Tieto had one – in my eyes – very sharp reflection. He and the gang had been in a store, where, as usual, you could try a garment, but now with the difference that when one had the jacket on the mirror could show off clothes and accessories that complemented the physical garment. Something that raised additional sales to 30 percent.

– It is in the moment that the feeling occures that the conversion takes place, says Fredrik Bergström of Tieto.

This idea is, I think, central to the development of trade – and also for us who are working with developing digital channels. If experience is a strong factor in your business, you should reflect on the situation in which the customer or the user receives a warm feeling in hers och his heart, exclaims “wow” or simply understands your offer.

This is where the button “I’ll sign up now” must be.

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