It’s not sudden, we are entering into the tech-enabled world in gradual phases. To recollect, we have come a long way from those keypad mobile phones to AR-enabled smartphones. It’s been more than a decade. Since then, the consumer shift has also been witnessed drastically. The chase is different. Even the satisfactory parameters have changed in this fast-paced world.

Brands also tilted themselves by keeping the experience approach first then the sale approach priority. E-commerce and technology have shaped B2C models and customer engagement fundamentals, in fragmented retail. Exclusive and multi-branded outlets are getting recognized differently in the retail universe. Though the industry has already been advocative about it, the shift we’re talking about is for customers. They are getting educated to certain stands that the bridge between business models is getting transparent.

Understanding the technology

The intellect to understand the technology and to make the machines more intelligent came from long allegorical time sequences. From the time when Alan Turing asked the world “Can machines think?” to the current times, where these machines can think via programmed neural networks. And yes, there’s a metaphor here.

From the last article where we talked about the generation alpha, that has grown with the technology and witnessed its boom. And the difference between them and other generations is the ‘Understanding of technology’ at the brain developing stage. It’s as simple as growing up in a hood and getting trained by the hood.

There’s always an air about the ‘Coming Up’ things. But to understand the technology, we have to determine the question – ‘What’s Next?’ very firmly. And also, what was sci-fi for us a decade or two ago, is sci for us today. At converging roads, it’s a mandate to understand tech to match the mental state with growing surroundings. But in the end, Are we shaking hands with technology, ironically?

The Integration

Whether it's retail that has been fragmented or a supply chain that is being automated (to certain levels). The integration at O2O (online to offline) converges will be integral to make it more impactful. The fusion happens in retail when the perception towards various formats (MBO, EBO, Standalone Complexes, etc.) changes and the air around it, is of awareness. On the whole, the retail architecture gets built on.

The integration of physical and digital spaces also gets intertwined in the second split of retail. Here, the consumer gets an immersive experience of the brand and its products. Often, it is called ‘Phygitized Retail Experience’.

The third split consists of consumer behavior. Where the consumer acts according to its purchase decisions – immediate and planned. The factors that decide on this behavior are - need, want, and desire. It goes from entering the store and acting by the SKU placements in a planned way. If the consumer finds the products that are of utter usage, the purchase decision is immediate. And if it finds the products while strolling the store, it plans and executes the purchase accordingly.

*“67% CEOs globally and 64% CEOs in India, cited the need of reinventing their existing supply chains, as a result of a pandemic”

A sustainable supply chain (SSC) is the most thought at current times. Where 4R’s – Rare, Re-use, Refine, and Recycle make up the SSC. The irony here is that we are going sustainable by harming the planet at the same damn time. The traditional supply chain approach consists to-n-fro of core materials (wood, glass, metal, and plastic) to create the optimum mix.

Another integration comes with the deliverance and procurement of soft services (take it broadly) like tech-based, cloud-based, etc. It’s important in making the ecosystem of tomorrow (a self-sustainable one) by developing upgraded skillset formats.

Creating sustained brand-led cultures is creating more hypocrisies, metaphors, and ironies. Enabling them with technology is a bouldered task. And that’s the in-culture. Let’s talk about the biz-culture. Where brands lead through the amalgamation of hardware and software in their consumer enticing spaces (another word for retail spaces), keeping the dollar ultimate.

D’Art in Collab with the brand (client) that aims to deliver experience-driven through CHS (Customized Hardware-Software).

The market stakeholding is getting diverse as we are seeing retail fragmentation in the wake of the Entrepreneurship Era. But the co-creation is practiced at both frontal and back.

How can we ignore the virtual universe boom, we are expecting to witness? It's more than we understand right now. The interaction across boundaries will be more flexible in terms of virtually and physically at the same time.

The sci-fi here is that – “Can we be ported into different time periods?”

*KPMG 2020 Global CEO Outlook: COVID19 Special Edition and KPMG in India