Trends research firm, PSFK, predicts seismic shift in retail landscape

New York-based trends research and innovation company, PSFK, has released its third annual survey of retail trends, which pinpoints the early stages of a seismic shift that is changing the face of the retail landscape.

Big-box retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart are beginning to feel the heat as sales decline in the face of stiffer competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon, claim researchers. 

‘Showrooming’ – where physical stores evolve to provide shoppers with a hands on and sensory experience – is the new reality, says PSFK.

Shoppers are more educated than ever before and the ability to check prices on the fly has resulted in increased commoditisation and a rethinking of how brands and retailers go about providing a differentiated offering, researchers add.

At the same time, the pressures companies like Amazon and Alice.com are exerting on the marketplace have forced traditional retailers to contemplate a multi-channel approach to online, mobile and bricks-and-mortar sales.

PSFK’s Future of Retail Report shows a hallmark of this changing retail environment is the savvier shopper, who takes advantage of technology, is prepared to offer their personal data for a better experience, and has come to expect contextually relevant recommendations.  

“They are actively engaged, want a say in what products get made, will evangelise offerings to get a better price for themselves and their friends, and want to be rewarded for sharing their knowledge and expertise,” said PSFK.  

In the latest version of the Future of Retail report, PSFK said it explores this new retail reality, taking a deeper look into the trends driving the change in shopper behaviours and expectations as defined by retail on demand and the new brand champion.