This article is part of Raydiant’s new Future of Retail series which interviews the world’s leading retail experts to better understand how the industry has evolved and most importantly, where it’s headed.
The following is from a recent interview with Evri, Inc co-founder and CTO, Vicki Guan.
What personally excites you the most about the retail industry?
VG: Retail is such a broad and diversified industry. It encompasses small items we need everyday as well as luxurious spends we make once in a while. As a technology provider for retailers and brands, it is exciting to see retailers of various sizes and functions use artificial intelligence to create their ideal consumer experience.
What has been the most dramatic change you’ve seen in the industry over the past 3-5 years?
VG: We’ve seen a shift to digital retail and the emergence of digital native brands. Now, digital brands are pushing to have more physical presence because the cost of customer acquisition online is much higher. I am very excited to see how a new equilibrium will emerge in the next few years.
What are the top trends you see shaping brick and mortar retail in the next 3-5 years?
VG: Like many industries, brick and mortar retail will revolve more around consumer experience than before. I believe human-to-human interaction at a brick and mortar store has unique advantages over streamlined online shopping experiences, and we will both online and offline journey become more unified for consumers.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the retail industry in the next 3-5?
VG: As consumer experience becomes increasingly important, the responsibility of a store associate will ultimately shift towards customer engagement. I believe in order to transition to a customer-centric model, robotics and artificial intelligence will need to support associates with tasks such as restocking, cleaning, and personalized recommendations.
What’s the future of brick and mortar retail?
VG: The line between brick and mortar retail and digital retail will become blurred until the two unifies into one seamless experience.