TDC&Co’s Top Takeouts
Sitting back to take it all in, we asked ourselves what our 3 biggest insights from the congress were:
1. Experience is the key differentiator in retail
Over the last 5 years, trend forecasts have all pointed to the importance of experience design. But it’s no longer speculation. Today’s most successful retail brands are the ones that transcend brick and mortar and exist everywhere their customers are. But more importantly, the most innovative brands do so without obsessing about bottom line results at every turn – rather looking at the bigger picture.
To be truly successful as a brand, you have to shadow your customer in places where they might not make a purchase on the spot. Most of the time, what you learn from them in those offstage moments is worth more than a quick gain.
2. In retail, there’s no difference between tech and the real world
The gap between the online world and the real one is closing faster than most companies realise. But perhaps the biggest mind shift most retail brands have yet to undergo is that online is real. Real people are having real interactions that have very real results for businesses.
More and more, the two are becoming so interlinked that most customers don’t see the difference between an online and real-world experience. The impact of this new, hybrid world on retail is enormous. The better a brand manages to seamlessly integrate technology with a physical environment – in other words, the two should behave in the same way – the more futureproof it becomes.
3. If you find yourself stuck in the middle, you might soon just be stuck
What became abundantly clear during the SACSC Congress was that the South African economy is becoming ever more polarised. The most successful retail brands in the country either create aspirational buying experiences, or are lower LSM brands that behave like luxury brands, like OBC.
The middle class is falling away – and so too are their buying habits. In the context of South Africa’s current economic situation, the gap between low and high LSM is only going to grow wider, which means that the local retail experience is about to undergo a dramatic makeover.
For TDC&Co, a retail design business built on staying abreast of both economic and design trends, the insights we gained from the SACSC Congress were invaluable.
If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from the latest retail design trends – or would like to explore how you can successfully navigate the retail landscape in the current economic climate – why not contact Tanya at TDC&Co on 0711341146