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 NORA Network founder Paul Greenberg.
What personally excites you the most about the retail industry?
PG: I have always believed that retail at its core is a deeply creative entrepreneur, and, personally, I have a creative flair. I love and play music, enjoy the arts and theatre, and good retail is visual storytelling.
What has been the most dramatic change you’ve seen in the industry over the past 3-5 years?
PG: Clearly the convergence of physical and digital retail, I call it ‘ phygital’ , has changed the landscape, at an accelerating pace. Customers shop by brand, not by channel, and good retailers have progressed their strategies on meeting their customers, however, whenever.
What are the top trends you see shaping brick and mortar retail in the next 3-5 years?
PG: The in store experience will continue to be deeply engaging, making that transition from a transactional environment, to an experiential and entertaining experience. Naturally this will involve the use of engaging technology and a predictable shape shift of the store size and layout. Convergence will continue to dominate, and the intersection of physical and digital for the customer will be increasingly frictionless.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the retail industry in the next 3-5?
PG: General consensus is that AI in all its iterations will be the application that the most impactful technology will converge around.
What’s the future of brick and mortar retail?
PG: If done well, a strong and vibrant future awaits. But clearly we are already seeing the decline and demise of ‘average’. Innovative and responsive retailers who are deeply tuned into their customers have lots to look forward too.