JWT Explores Retail Trends in “Retail Rebooted”

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Report outlines Retail as the Third Space and Predictive Personalization, plus range of other developments.

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Retail is undergoing a momentous shift, with brick-and-mortar stores forced to evolve for a digital-commerce age

In its latest trend report, JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, surveys key retail trends, focusing on how retailers are evolving for an increasingly sophisticated digital and data-centric world, as well as a range of other developments, from click-and-collect shopping to variable pricing.

“Retail is undergoing a momentous shift, with brick-and-mortar stores forced to evolve for a digital-commerce age; multiple new ways to buy; the rise of data-based personalization; fast-changing consumer attitudes and habits; and various new technologies continuing to disrupt the status quo,” says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT.

In “Retail Rebooted,” JWT touches on all these factors, revising and updating three trends the company has outlined in recent years that are bringing significant changes to the retail arena:

  • Retail as the Third Space: Brick-and-mortar retail will increasingly serve as a “third space” that’s only partly about transactions—increasingly, it’s as much about experiences, unique environments and customer service. The hard sell is becoming less important than providing something more fun, helpful, satisfying or distinctive than e-commerce can offer.
  • Predictive Personalization: As data analysis becomes more cost efficient, the science gets more sophisticated and consumers generate more measurable data than ever, retailers will be able to predict customer behavior, needs or wants—and tailor offers and communications very precisely.
  • Everything Is Retail: Shopping is shifting from an activity that takes place in physical stores or online to a value exchange that can play out in multiple new and novel ways. Since almost anything can be a retail channel, thanks largely to mobile technology, brands must get increasingly creative in where and how they sell their goods.

“Retail will be a lot more complex in tomorrow’s omni-channel environment—but brands will also find more opportunities to capture consumers’ attention and then to seal the deal almost instantly,” says JWTIntelligence editor Marian Berelowitz, who led research and writing for the report. “For now, retailers must experiment to discover what resonates and how digitally savvy consumers adjust their behavior given new options.”

The report also maps out 20-plus Things to Watch in Retail, ranging from innovative business models to shifting consumer behaviors to the latest tech developments.

JWT’s “Retail Rebooted” is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. It includes input from experts and influencers in retail and data from a survey of 1,016 adults aged 18-plus in the U.S. and the U.K. conducted from Nov. 9–19, 2012, using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.

The report can be found on JWTIntelligence.com; subscribers to the JWTIntelligence iPad app will be able to update the app to include this report. Additional knowledge and research on JWTIntelligence.com includes recent trend reports on men, travel, mobile, embracing analog, health and happiness, food and JWT’s 10 Trends for 2013 and 100 Things to Watch in 2013.

JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content today. JWT embraces a WORLDMADE philosophy, making things inspired by the world through blending technological innovation with international imagination. JWT has forged deep relationships with clients including Bayer, Diageo, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Macy’s, Mondelez, Nestlé, Nokia, Rolex, Royal Caribbean, Schick, Shell, Unilever, Vodafone, Vonage and many others. JWT’s parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, please visit http://www.jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide.

JWTIntelligence is a center for provocative thinking that focuses on identifying shifts in the global zeitgeist. Its aim is to bring the outside in—to help inspire ideas beyond brand, category and consumer conventions—and to identify emerging opportunities so they can be leveraged for business gain. As a part of JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, JWTIntelligence has conducted trends research and analysis across categories and geographies for nearly a decade. For more information, please visit http://www.jwtintelligence.com and follow us @JWTIntelligence.


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