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Retail Future Can You Hear Me Now

Welcome to the continued age of digital transformation. The contenders for being the number one innovation disruptor of the last decade includes the explosion of e-commerce, the growth of cloud services, 3.5 billion people using social media, the mobile internet with 61% of the global population connected, over 9 billion Internet-of-Things (IoT) connected devices, ever efficient lithium ion batteries. the expansion of biometrics such as facial recognition, billions of RFID labels in use especially in retail apparel, and voice devices such as Alexa coming into our homes.  

The number one disruptive technology of the last decade was the smartphone. Technically, Apple kicked-off the successful launch of this solution in the prior decade (2007), but few could have foreseen the consequential impact in the 2010s. 

Augmenting the recent "Perfect 2020 Mobile Vision Future of Retail" post, this article summarizes the chain-reaction smartphone elements underway in the new retail decade. As a recent 'Retail 2030' report pointed out, in the 2020s we are in unchartered territory. 

"As consumers delegate tedious and transactional shopping to bots and virtual assistants, choice will be firmly in the domain of the algorithm, with minimal consumer intervention. When bots do the buying, the connection between retailers and their consumers, and the ability to influence them, will be broken. Appealing to a bot will be unchartered territory involving new skills, techniques and platforms."

Smartphones Already Represent 34% of All USA Ecommerce Sales

 

"Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the future, and from the present to live better in the future." - William Wordsworth

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In multiple cultures, the New Year is seen as a time to reflect on the past, think about where we are, and dream of the potential to start anew towards achieving new personal, family, and professional goals.

Why do we start the New Year on January 1? Where did this idea of setting goals / resolutions for the New Year come from?   What are the most common resolutions set for the New Year? How does one achieve those New Year's resolutions?

The History of New Year's Resolutions

 

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While sitting in the Delta Sky Club in Atlanta observing both weary and excited holiday travelers, four plus million personal air miles later, the realization that another decade is about to end entered my mind. In just a few more days, we begin the perfect vision year 2020.Quotes art Tony

Welcome to the new roaring ‘20s.  In preparing for the new decade, here are three simple exemplary leadership motivational reminders for ultimate success.

Take that Leap of Faith

Roughly 18 months ago I retired very early to pursue opportunities in private equity portfolio companies, startups in Silicon Valley, and continuing to explore the future of retail and emerging technologies. The progress to date decisively reveals that ‘very early’ was not early enough.

 

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Post-World War II, technology has been the primary engine driving the retail industry's transformation through three powerful megatrends. As we approach the perfect vision year 2020, this article summarizes the state of the third and most important megatrend: mobile communications and the smartphone.  

The term 'smartphone' first appeared in 1995, three years after IBM introduced Simon which was the first phone that combined a cell calling capabilities with a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Simon was on the market for six months and only 50,000 units were sold. 

Fifteen years after Simon, in 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone by saying, "Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."  Apple and all the other competitive smartphone variations are forever disrupting multiple industries including retail.  

Mobile Eats the World

According to the latest GSMA Mobile Economy 2019 research, "by the end of 2018, 5.1 billion people around the world subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 67% of the global population." Over the next seven years, 710 million people will join the mobile revolution, bringing to total to 5.8 billion (71% of the global population).  

 

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My last article summarized the positive (green shopper) digital consumer transformation trends from the latest edition of the "Disruptive Future of Retail" presentation. As the audience from the recent keynote was primarily from loss prevention, in appreciation of their positive response and engagement, this post expands on the retail shrinkage industry data, including multiple new charts not presented due to time constraints. 

The continued renaissance of the global retail industry will require increased innovation to protect employees, customers, and products. Traditional security solutions that typically increase friction to deter theft are counter to the new digitally empowered consumer that progressively wants to just scan and go. 

The $51 Billion USA Retail Challenge

The latest NRF national shrink survey, "tells a story of a dramatically changing retail risk landscape, with new threats and challenges being met at each turn with new loss prevention tools. Progress is being made, but LP teams continue to face setbacks and challenges with new and expanding areas of threat." 

 

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TonyLPMagIn October I had the opportunity to speak to roughly 150 retail professionals on the "Disruptive Future of Retail". This continuously updated presentation explains the key trends driving the digital transformation of the global retail industry.

Very humbled by the positive response to the new edition with the audience stating it that it was "inspiring" and "eye-opening". This article summarizes selected technology trends charts on delivering exceptional differentiated consumer experiences which are the future of retail. 

The Digital Wake-Up Call

Contrary to all the retail apocalypse popular media hype, the retail industry is in the middle of a digital renaissance wakeup call. Below data is from one of my favorite annual studies from RIS News / IHL Group on the state of consumer facing technologies. . 

 

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Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) Impact 2019 conference. Over 430 people made their way to the University of Florida’s Gainesville campus for the three-day event. The symposium "focused heavily on learning and collaboration, as well as an overview of the LPRC’s research on evidence-based tactics and strategies to reduce crime and loss in the retail space".

As part of a senior retail executive session, I contributed this excerpt of my continuously updated "Disruptive Future of Retail" presentation. What is the state of the global retail industry? Is USA retail a dying industry? What's in the mind of the new omnichannel shopper and how is it changing? What's the impact on the loss prevention function? What's driving disruption? Why is LPRC positioned to lead at the speed of NEW retail?

The Groovy Retail Industry

 

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In today's increasingly complex world, branding is critical to lasting success. Every year, I look forward to the latest BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands study. This article summarizes the nearly 200-page report with a focus on retail, apparel, and luxury.

"In a year marked by rising consumer expectations, the erosion of category boundaries, and geopolitical disruptions, the 2019 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands increased 7% in value. This hard-won gain outperformed the global GDP growth rate and added $328 billion to the BrandZ™ Top 100, bringing its total value to $4.7 trillion."

"Consumers expected superior customer experience, including rapid delivery. More mindful about the health and wellness of themselves and the planet, they also demanded a high level of responsibility and ethical behavior from brands. To meet consumer expectations, brands become more sophisticated about gathering and analyzing data, increasingly applying the insights across multiple businesses and ignoring category borders to create integrated brand ecosystems."

"Data-driven improvements in customer experience and personalization helped drive the value growth of the three fastest rising categories: luxury, up 29%; retail, up 25%, and insurance, up 15%."

The Top 10 Retail Brands - Digitization Transforms Shopping Experience

 

 The Future of Retail Store Operations and Asset Protection

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"Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitor." - Sam Walton

Most impressive from a recent evening visit to the Walmart Museum in Arkansas were the company’s yearly chronological milestones throughout the exhibit areas. Being a technology geek, my focus quickly transitioned to understanding the historical innovation adoption cycle. Additionally, as a student of leadership, of interest was the culture messaging of founder Sam Walton in growing the company. 

The following day, I had the pleasure of spending quality time with the Walmart Asset Protection (AP) team. Part of the trip included touring new technologies deployed at a store in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  

The Walmart Museum, the AP conversations, and the store walk were a great reminder of several key success formula ingredients in crafting the world’s largest retailer.

The Three Megatrends Driving the Future of Retail

 

PlanB

Roughly a year ago, I published a personal Plan B blog titled “Personal Branding and Retiring Early on Your Own Terms”.  As I stated in that post, “continuous learning” opened new possibilities that were calling to be executed.

The objectives that I had set out for my new career included:

Working with a few select private equity firms in developing growth plans for their portfolio companies either through consulting or board positions. Continue to public speak on the “Disruptive Future of Retail”. Monetize my personal website www.tonydonofrio.com. Continue to write about technology and leadership, including publishing a couple books.

In one word, the last 12+ months have been transformational. 

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