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Predicting Retail In 2016

8/08/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

It’s only fair that I stick my
own neck out and make a
couple of predictions for
the future.

I’m going to focus on the retail
experience, as our experts
have fully covered the product
side of the question.

Again, mobile devices will
play the key role. Customers
will prowl through stores with
their smartphone or tablet
device and use the Internet to compare pricing and
features in order to get the best deal.

However, I think retailers will counter this by equipping
every store-level sales assistant with a tablet.
The sales associate can then immediately check to
see what is available without having to wait for the
department’s only PC terminal to be available. Perhaps
some software will be included that will give the
associate the ability to bargain on pricing.

I also anticipate stores will carry more inventory
as a hedge against Amazon’s ability to carry
everything. This may mean cutting back in some
less-popular categories, though.

Immediate gratification may be a store’s best
defense against online competition, even if the
product is priced a bit higher. After all, if someone
will pay for overnight shipping, they will pay a bit
more to walk away with their purchase

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