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The Fluid Future of Retail


Editor’s Note: The following was originally published on LinkedIn by Carrie Ask, EVP, President Global Retail at Levi Strauss & Co.

We take mobile technology everywhere we go these days, so it’s no surprise that many consumers today use their mobile devices to inform purchase decisions while in a store, for everything from reading product reviews to browsing their favorite influencer’s Instagram posts. Mobile technology has triggered an undeniable seismic shift in the shopping experience, quite literally putting the power directly into the hands of consumers.

Today’s shoppers want it all: a great selection of products without being overwhelmed by too many choices, and a personalized experience that allows them to jump seamlessly from online to in-store experiences. When they walk in a store, research shows that nearly 70 percent of shoppers expect retailers to have a single profile of them, and 85 percent will abandon their shopping journey if they don’t receive prompt service.

So, who will lead the way in this brave new world of retail? Headlines are filled by retailers shutting down stores to protect their bottom line, while online-only players are investing in stores to extend their ability to serve their consumers.

But there are some important silver linings out there that get missed in the drumbeat of dire retail headlines. Recent consumer research conducted by Levi Strauss & Co. found consumers entering our stores are increasingly more deliberate – planned purchase intent is over 50 percent. The brands that are surviving – and thriving – are learning to harness the latent potential of the highly motivated and tech-savvy shoppers who are coming in the door.

Read the full post on Carrie’s LinkedIn page.