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’s it’s headed.
The following is from a recent interview with the founder and CEO of The Lion’esque Group, Melissa Gonzalez.
What personally excites you the most about the retail industry?
MG: The increasing commitment to creating consumer centric experiences. I am a storyteller at heart and passionate about helping our clients create environments that helps further their brand message and build an emotional connection with their customers and I am also passionate about data driven design and the possibilities data brings to inform our design decisions today.
What has been the most dramatic change you’ve seen in the industry over the past 3-5 years?
MG: The role of physical retail within the customer journey. It’s evolving at record paces. While it was once the only way people could transact, the adoption of digital is truly transforming its purpose. There is no cookie cutter answer to the role of the store anymore, it needs to be fluid, adaptive and this constantly challenges us to be forward thinking while also keeping the consumer at the forefront.
What are the top trends you see shaping brick and mortar retail in the next 3-5 years?
- Increased global environmental awareness and dedication to carbon neutral and sustainability initiatives in design.
- Micro moments with consumers constantly multi-tasking and shopping becoming more transactional while doing other things; pushing brands and retailers to work harder to gain market share.
- Purpose driven consumerism, with more of a push for traceability of where products come from.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the retail industry in the next 3-5?
MG: AI and its impact on personalization. Shopping will become more of a 1:1 experience. Brand and retailers will no longer be limited to building “personas” and bucketing customers into groups but will rather deliver messaging, experiences and products curated to each individual customer.
What’s the future of brick and mortar retail?
MG: Imagine a world where the fluidity between online and offline is so seamless we no longer think about them as separate channels. Store associates will be as informed as google search, they will understand customers as if they were on a first-name basis, access to inventory will be seamless regardless of where its located, same-day delivery will be a standard.