The USA holiday of Thanksgiving carries a special meaning in our family as many years ago it marked the exact day we started our immigrant journey to the United States. From a small town south of Rome, to Zurich, and then on to Cleveland, my youth was brimming with dramatic cultural changes.
Our USA trip was arduous from the start as my family was literally lost in New York. On arrival by cruise ship, traveling with an uncle who we thought spoke English; we were taken to the wrong train station. For the planned train journey to Cleveland, instead of Grand Central, we were dropped off at the nearest New York subway station.
The just published Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB) is an annual study of the losses from merchandise shrinkage in the global retail industry. The research for the 2015 edition was conducted by the Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle and it was commissioned by Checkpoint Systems. 203 retailers in four regions, covering 24 countries contributed data for the latest report.
Retail shrink in the countries surveyed was estimated at $123.4 billion or on average 1.23% of retail sales. "Shrinkage has been observed to increase in most of the reviewed countries and by 0.48 pps globally. In the 16 countries where like-for-like analysis was possible, shrinkage increased in 10 and decreased in 6."
At a recent growth and innovation summit had the pleasure of once again speaking about the future of retail. To engage the audience in an innovation conversation decided to ask a series of historical technology questions.
Out of the sixteen researched questions, following are my favorite top five:
The USA National Retail Federation (NRF) recently published the 11th annual Organized Retail Crime (ORC) survey. The latest data indicates that almost 97% of all the surveyed retailers have been a victim of ORC in the last 12 months.
Thank you for calling the Twinge Airlines telephone customer service line. Please choose from one of the following 25 options. For sales, press 1, for billing press 2.....to reach a representative press 25....We are experiencing a high volume of calls at this point in time. Your wait to speak to a representative might be months. Please go to our website and use the friendly self-help database which we are sure will not answer your question..... Annoying music.....All representative are still assisting other customers....You must not have a life, if you are still waiting. Please hang up and call someone else to get the answer.
A grueling airline issue this week led to the question, are we happy with the growing global customer service trend of speaking primarily with computers?
According to a just issued MIT Sloan study, there are substantial differences between management and actual customer perspectives on new self-service technologies:
In a recent post, we analyzed "The $1.2 Trillion Internet of Things Retail Opportunity". As McKinsey pointed out, "retail environments have undergone significant change over the past two decades due to the introduction of information technologies, including the rise of online shopping. The Internet of Things has the potential to cause even greater disruption, but IoT can also provide traditional retailers with the tools to compete - and coexist - with the online retail world as onmichannel shopping erases the distinction between online and offline shops."
For the retail industry, this seems to be the time to discuss trillion dollar opportunities. Order Dynamics just issued an IHL Group study titled "Retailers and the Ghost Economy: $1.75 Trillion Reasons to be Afraid." This week we will look at the $1.75 Trillion worldwide retail missed opportunities from overstocks, out-of-stocks and sales returns.
This month, First Insight published an interesting study on the evolving in-store technology customer experience and the mindset of the modern consumer.
Following are some surprising shopper insights on the use of technology in retail stores.
Virtual dressing rooms (where you can see how clothes will look on you without actually trying them on) may be coming to more stores soon. However, when consumers were asked if they would prefer a traditional dressing room versus a virtual dressing room, nearly 60% of respondents preferred a traditional dressing room.
A recent IHL Group research study titled "The Great Disconnect Between LP and IT" summarized that "traditional LP Technologies are (now) being co-opted for
use in other activities leading to influencers of buying decisions that would otherwise be purview of LP only." The convergence of Loss Prevention and Information Technologies has been underway for some time. The pace of change is increasing and further innovative disruption will arrive from unexpected market segments.
The data protection aspects of loss prevention dominate LP initiatives. The top five focus areas where retailers spend LP efforts are PCI, data breach, employee theft, returns fraud, and consumer theft. PCI and data breach account for 35% of the focus. Data breach spending is tied with employee theft at 14%. Returns fraud and consumer theft each represent 12% of the overall retailers LP spend focus.
In the recently published McKinsey study "The Internet of Things (IoT): Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype", the retail industry is ranked fourth in highest potential next decade IoT economic impact.
McKinsey defines the retail environment broadly "as physical spaces where consumers engage in commerce—considering or purchasing goods or services. This includes traditional stores, such as department stores and grocery stores, as well as showrooms where goods are on display but not available for sale. It also includes physical spaces where services are purchased, such as bank branches, theaters, and sports arenas. The analysis covers only physical environments where IoT technologies can be deployed, not online retailing."
One of my favorite annual industry reports is AT Kearney's Global Retail Development Index (GRDI). The recently published 2015 edition was titled "Global Retail Expansion: An Unstoppable Force".
The GDRI ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment. If you are a global retail leader, it is a must read to navigate opportunities in emerging markets.
China is the number one country in the 2015 GDRI report and it is the only country that has appeared in the top five consistently for the last five years. By 2018, China will surpass the United States as the world's largest retail market. China e-commerce sales grew 50% to nearly $450 billion in 2014, including $150 billion in mobile sales. E-commerce sales are predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2019.