Founded on June 15, 2007, Retail Systems Research (RSR) has been led by the same four industry analysts who brought diverse and expansive experience to the research firm. Retail TouchPoints has depended on the RSR team for input on important topics and trends throughout their tenure in the industry. (Coincidentally Retail TouchPoints also launched in 2007.)
In this retrospective, all four RSR analysts share their insights on how retail has transformed over the past 10 years. Here’s a look at the Retail World According To RSR:
Paula Rosenblum: I think the thing that strikes me the most is how time has compressed. Retail Time used to be considered dynamic and fast. Now, compared to consumer time, it seems downright slow and stodgy. As an industry we have GOT to get faster.
Brian Kilcourse: #1 has got to be the consumer adoption of “smart” mobile. Consumers can now begin their shopping journeys outside the four walls of the store because for the first time in forever, they carry the store around with them in their pockets and purses. That in turn compels retailers to extend their Brands into the digital realm, and that changes everything!
Steve Rowen: Customers are so price sensitive, they no longer have anything even resembling empathy or understanding for what retailers have to go through to meet their needs. Or even turn a profit. Conversations like "well I understand you need to make a living, too" have been completely stricken from the consumer mindset: it's war, and when they're left with the results of the monster they're creating, I imagine many may feel remorseful for that.
Nikki Baird: (I should note that almost all of us pointed to consumer mobile right away — it’s only coincidence that our founding happened in the same month as the launch of the iPhone, but the importance of that coincidence is not lost on us!). The whole definition of retailing has changed completely in 10 years. The value equation is no longer about getting consumers in stores and keeping them there as long as possible to sell them stuff. Selling in retail is now a commodity, not a differentiator. I can order almost anything I want from a speaker on my living room end table. So the next 10 years is going to need to be about how to HELP customers, not sell to them. Retailers need to find ways to be a valued part of consumers’ lives, especially if they want to combat the attitude Steve describes.
Happy 10th Birthday, RSR!