Your day will probably begin with your home bot (probably one of the popular AI assistants) waking you up with an alarm of your choice/preference. Most of our homes will be fully ‘smart’ by then, with devices and appliances talking to each other and the ‘home bots’ controlling them like our personalized Jeeves!! According to a report by Market Research Future, global IoT market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~20% till 2022 to reach a value of USD 2.5 trillion, and reach USD 5 Trillion by 2030. This is expected to double the size of PC, smartphones, connected cars and wearables market by that time (in volume terms, IoT connected devices are expected to grow from 6.4 billion units in 2016 to 20.4 billion units by 2020 at a CAGR of 33.6%, and in India from a small base of 0.06 billion units to 1.9 billion units during the same period, at a staggering CAGR of 137.2%).
So, your hot water will be switched on 10 mins before you wake up to avoid wasting electricity (we will be on fully renewable solar and/or wind energy by then), as your wearable device will let the Bot know when you are likely to wake up. In addition, based on the quality of your sleep – whether it was REM on NREM deep sleep (again assessed through your wearable device and your ‘smart’ bed), your personalized music library from one of the service providers will play the appropriate soothing or a loud head banging music to wake you up. The Bot will then turn on the kettle for green tea/strong coffee based on your sleep, turn on your wall ‘panel’ for your personalized news feed, or a Yoga workout with your favourite celebrity beamed in live to your home, where you will be able to use VR/AR glasses to connect with the instructor live and in real time, making it a very ‘personalised’ experience.
Wearable devices market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~25% between 2016 and 2020 to reach USD 34.2 bn from USD 14bn.
Your ‘home’ Bot will start the preparations for your morning ablutions, breakfast, etc. – (for the super affluent consumers who can afford ‘homo sapiens’ as domestic help in 2030, the homebot will keep the ‘human help’ posted). Using your wearable device, the Bot will be able to access your fat, sugar, protein, blood pressure and cholesterol readings on a real-time basis, and accordingly prepare your ideal breakfast from your favourite online recipe library by food value. The Bot will also let you know that it has placed your order of daily/weekly grocery supplies from the online grocer using your rate of consumption, your historical data, quantity left over in your smart cupboard & smart refrigerator to calculate the order. In many cases, the online grocers will automatically work out your weekly order based on predictive analytics using your consumption and shopper data, and inform the Bot the ETA of the courier/drone. So, in 2030, all our mundane tasks of ordering groceries and daily use products will be taken care of by our bots, and we the ‘consumer/ shopper’ will have lot of free time to focus how best to spend an exciting day of shopping and wonderful experiences!!
As you step out of your home, you can expect a driver less car from one of the cab aggregators (for the super affluent, there may be an human driver) pull up to your door, and based on the instructions from your home bot, all the details of your journey, time to destination, route, price, etc will be displayed on the TV screen (or announced) as you step into the cab. As you sit down in the cab, it will play your favourite news channel or show based on your viewing/listening history, and interrupt that with specific advertisements based on your shopping plans for the day, your shopper profile, as well as your interests (be it Golf, gardening or fashion). So, personalized advertising will be a reality. Then, based on your shopping plans for the day, the in-cab smart interactive TV will display all the retailers selling the products you want to shop, their USPs and benefits, and the best deals available that day FOR YOU based on proximity and preference using big data and IOT!. Once you choose the retailer you want to visit, and the products & deals you want, the smart display will enable the taxi to drive you there and will let the retailer know in real time that you are on your way to them, your ETA, your interest in the products that day, etc. So, while a lot of our shopping in 2030 may still be impulse, predictive analytics will ensure that there is a fair bit of planning around this done by the machines around you!
Retail in 2030 is likely to be more about ‘experience’, browsing, and curating products – creating a Theatre experience for shoppers, as retail rentals will probably be too prohibitive for retailers to keep inventory in-store, and consumers will be too used to getting products delivered at home. Retailers will focus on building experience zones in-store, where the consumers/shoppers can immerse themselves into the products and feel/touch/smell/experience them, and make their decision having a full 360 degree experience in-store. As you enter the store, your smart device will inform the retailer that you have arrived, and will let you know where the product will be available in-store, deals/offers for the day, and your store assistant who will serve you. In addition to your choices for the day, the retailer will mine your shopper data to ensure that all your favourite items and likely/predictive purchases will be available for you when you reach the store.
Most of the in-store space in retail in 2030 will be dedicated to visuals, browsing, and Virtual Reality walls and trial rooms that will allow you to visualize how the clothes will fit you, and how ‘handsome/beautiful/slim’ you will look in different occasions in that outfit – the background of the trial room will change based on your preference to show a friend’s wedding, or the local pub, or your favourite restaurant. Imagine that you are heading out for a trek - you will be able to see a simulated view of the mountain, how the shoes and your jacket will hold up in the weather (using 4D or 5D effects), how you will look, etc. You may also be able to request to see how your friend, for whom you are buying a birthday or anniversary gift, will look in the outfits or shoes or accessories, so that you can make a well informed decision.
Having a ‘single view of the shopper/consumer” across omni-channels will become the differentiating factor to make best-in-class brands & retailers stand out and win. This will of course be driven through the collaboration between the telecom, data mining companies, retailers, brands and cab companies, so as to offer a seamless personalized service to their shoppers. According to IDC, in 2020, each person online would create 1.7 MB of new data every second, creating a huge trail that companies will be able to mine. Similarly, Gartner predicts 85% of the customer interactions in retail will be managed by AI by 2020 – that looks ambitious today, and my sense is that it will be closer to 2030. Further, chat-bots, a subset of AI, will fulfill the retailer’s requirement to provide a better customer understanding. Estimates indicate that the AI market is expected to grow from USD 126 billion in 2015 to over USD 3 trillion by 2024. The surge in AI is likely to be felt most in retail as new applications will be added almost every day to enable a better shopper/consumer experience.
In 2030, you can expect to walk into a store and be greeted by a Bot who will have access to all your shopping data and history, your profile, your last online ‘surfing’ and browsing history (complete omni-channel customer view) and what you like and don’t, based on our rating of all our purchases/experiences across channels in 2030, making it possible for retailers to have a good fix on our likes and dislikes. The BOT at the entrance may open the conversation with ‘how is the shoe you bought last time fitting’ or that your TV/home theater has informed him that it needs to be serviced, and ‘he’ will be sending out a service person later that day. The Bot will then go on to tell you where the products you wanted to browse that day are being held for you, and who will help you in-store. You will also be able to see more specific details about the product, in terms of where it is sourced from, who produced it, was it ethically produced, is it ‘green’ and environmentally friendly, and if not, then what the producer is doing to compensate the environment on your smartphone. Sustainability and ‘green’ will also be major differentiating factors for brands and they will have to disclose this to the environmentally conscious consumers 2030.
So, as retail in 2030 will be around browsing stores, where shoppers will enjoy a day of indulgence and fun, with the final selections paid for at virtually anywhere in the store, and products delivered to our homes. While all this will be impressive in the beginning, it will become almost regular ‘fare’ and all shoppers will expect this and more from their retailers, and so the retailers will have to continue to re-invent to be relevant. The everyday purchases like groceries, home care, personal care, inner wear, and personal hygiene products will rarely be bought in-store in 2030, as most of these will be ordered online from home, or shipped directly to our home based on our consumption history. Only new innovations, aspirational brands and brands that have a ‘wow’ factor will be showcased in store/at malls, as customer acquisition cost will be 8 to 10X of today, and companies will need to do lot of detailed ground work before launching a new brand, product or service.
Another major differentiating factor in 2030 will be around post purchase after sales service. We will move from today’s scenario, where after sales service is a tick in the box and something many companies pretend to care about, to what will be the difference between brands that survive and those that perish. Shoppers and customers will only be loyal to brands and products that genuinely care for them, value their feedback and act on it, want to continue to engage with them post purchase, want to personalize the experience, and adapt to provide as personalized and experience as is possible. So, we will be in an era of mass personalization with the consumer at the center of all efforts, where almost all curated products will have some form of personalization based on our individual preferences, and this will only be possible through a strong engagement between the retailers/brands, analytics, technology and the shoppers/customers.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETRetail.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETRetail.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.
Let's block ads! (Why?)