An Evolutionary Perspective
on the Future of Retail
Per Önnemyr, Group CX Director at Impact, set the stage for an exciting first day. When we contemplate the future of retail, our minds often wander into the realm of cutting-edge technology, AI, and all things futuristic. According to Per, every presentation needs to revolve around a key word. There are countless words that can describe the future of retail, including personalization, attraction, satisfaction, interaction, and why not, lotion. Per’s chosen word, however, was evolution. It is through gradual evolution over thousands of years that humans have adapted and thrived, bringing us to where we stand today. Evolutionary adaptation involves adjusting to our environment to enhance our chances of survival. While evolution progresses slowly, technology advances at a rapid pace.
One of the most well-known theories among marketers is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow categorized human needs into levels such as “physiological,” “safety,” “belonging and love,” “social needs,” “esteem,” and “self-actualization.” Regardless of the timeline, our basic human needs remain constant. Yet, it is all too common for companies and brands to overlook this fundamental truth—that our customers are, above all, human beings with basic needs. At the heart of it all lies the unwavering purpose of listening to customers’ needs. By aligning our message with their psychological needs and motivations, we can provide more relevant and valuable information, products, and services.
Always ask the questions: Who are we doing this for? And why are we doing it? Per Önnemyr laid out the foundational elements for the future of retail and commerce.
Purpose – Never forget the purpose behind what you do. Every new launch should fulfill a genuine need.
Adaptation – Embrace the ever-changing tides of the retail landscape. Recognize that what shines brightly in the present may fade in the future. Adapt, evolve, and thrive.
Longevity – Challenge retail to meet needs with a long-term perspective. This longevity paves the way for a more sustainable retail industry.
The presentation fearlessly emphasized the core of customer experience and business, a truth often overshadowed in the fast-paced world. Always prioritize the customer and question the purpose of your operations. The presentation concluded with a fitting quote: “As long as your purpose is aligned with your customers’ needs better than anyone else, you win. It is as simple as that.”