Remember when brands’ e-commerce and traditional retail departments duked it out for perceived revenue share? That’s old hat — today’s consumers opt for on-call shopping options ranging from mobile commerce to old-school bricks-and-mortar.Walker Sands, a public relations and digital agency for business-to-business technology companies, released its annual “Future of Retail 2017” report that cast a deep look into technology’s affect on consumer behavior and emerging buying preferences. The study polled 1,622 U.S. consumers to understand current shopping habits, preferences and views on emerging retail technology.Non-traditional shopping methods — buying on mobile, desktop or voice-controlled devices — are becoming status quo. “Nearly half of consumers [46 percent] now prefer to shop via a non-traditional channel, such as mobile, desktop or voice-controlled device, compared to 54 percent who still prefer the traditional in-store experience,” the report said.The retail landscape has become a leveled playing field. Consumers opt to shop regularly online — 61 percent of consumers said they show online at least once a month — but more than half the shoppers visit a brick-and-mortar weekly, the report shared.“The study findings show that physical stores could be making a comeback, especially among younger consumers who crave more authentic and engaging experiences,” the report said. “And as the lines start blurring between the online and physical shopping experiences, consumers are starting to get the best of both worlds.”Throwing technology into a store isn’t a fix-all. “Consumers pointed to unique experiences, including food and beverage offerings [30 percent], a more personalized shopping experience [18 percent] and entertainment [17 percent]” as main factors that motivate them to shop in-store. Cultivating a highly personalized, authentic and efficient — yet without rushing — atmosphere will draw Generation Z shoppers, especially.Newer technology like smart dressing rooms and virtual reality have yet to become mainstream expectations among shoppers of all ages. “By integrating technology with better experiences, like Amazon has done with its Go store, retailers can truly blend the best of both worlds,” the report said.And though they’re hesitant to embrace the aforementioned in-store features, consumers are much more willing to deploy voice-activation functionality — convenience is king.“Nearly one in five consumers [19 percent] have made a purchase through Amazon Echo or another voice-controlled device in the past year, and one in three consumers [33 percent] plan to make a purchase in the next year,” the report said. With the rise of Amazon Echo and the soon-to-market Apple HomePod, retailers and brands will encounter a new hurdle: curating a fresh perspective on shopper experiences that lacks a familiar user interface.This will require the alignment between once siloed internal departments — and bolster the continued cross-pollination between channels and platforms linked by authenticity and consistency of enhanced customer service.More from WWD:Millennial Confessional: What Makes Them Tick, Spend, ScrollOnline Retailers Lead Bricks-And-Mortar in Influencer MarketingIs Amazon the New Google?
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.