Catch up on Point Inside’s weekly round-up of top articles in retail and mobile.
Amazon says 238 municipalities in North America — “from Vancouver to Chihuahua,” as one subhed puts it — have entered the competition to become its second headquarters city. It didn’t name names, but it did publish a two-hued map yesterday delineating the origins of pitches from “54 states, provinces, districts and territories.” If you’re wondering if anybody doesn’t want Uncle Jeff — and the roughly “50,000 high-paying jobs” he says he’ll brings with him — to build his second HQ nearby, the answer is “a-yup” — but they’re in the vast minority.
The store of today looks very different to the store of 20 years ago. A large part of this is due to the technology now available at retailer’s fingertips. There’s an increase in the level of investment from retailers into in-store technology, while they’re also putting bricks-and-mortar at the heart of their wider retail strategy. But with such investment going into technology now and for the future, where does this leave the workforce and what are the benefits to employees?
Retail as we know it is dead. Shopping is no longer a battle of price and convenience, it’s a race to create something customers can touch and feel. Industry insiders call it experiential retail — creating destinations for customers that go way beyond the act of purchase and immerse customers in a 360-degree brand lifestyle. Sure, the idea of creating brick and mortar stores people want to hang out in and experience sounds so obvious, but it turns out to be hard to execute. Unlike online shopping where every action is meticulously controlled and documented, building systems and software for the real world means accounting for unpredictability like weather, geography, connectivity, and human error to name a few.