Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The 3 Most Critical Trends Retailers Should Be Focusing On For 2009

  1. Credit Crunch
    The subprime mortgage crisis in 2007 has had a major ongoing global financial impact, not just on consumers but on businesses too. The effect of the global credit crunch on business and consumer spending means that retailers will have to find ways of innovating without the luxury of growing profit margins and flexible budgets in order to create / maintain competitive advantage.
  2. Social consumer behaviour
    With the ubiquity of digital technologies and associated social trends, consumers are becoming used to faster, easier and more collaborative ways of shopping. Competition in the digital space is non-local, rapidly expanding, and thus much greater than in the physical space. Firms that are not part of the social conversation or which do not go out of their way to make it easy for consumers to find, engage and purchase their products will struggle to compete.
  3. Channel convergence
    Multiple channels to market are fast becoming the norm, and the leaders are moving towards a seamless customer experience across all channels, underpinned by a single data view of their customers regardless of channel. It is no longer acceptable to have differential pricing, branding or experience across different channels, and successful retailers will be rethinking both their organisational design and also their customer engagement strategies to ensure that their routes to market are cohesive.

We've been developing an understanding of these challenges along with recommendations and solutions for addressing them at Charteris, which is the management consultancy I currently work for. If you're a retailer and want to know more, feel free to get in touch.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Trendspotting For The Next Decade: 2011 and beyond

Richard Laermer has just published a book on trendspotting called "2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade". It's about how you can learn to pick out useful signals from all the noise around you, and what to watch out for over the next few years. One particular reason for highlighting it is that it's free. Laermer believes the future is about information openness and has convinced McGraw Hill to publish it free online.

You can download it free from

I'll be reading it over the next few days and will put up a review when I get a chance. In the meantime here's a video of Richard being interviewed by the guys at Mashable, discussing his ideas and future trends.