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January 2022

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jan 2022

Internet and technology has been consistently driving the shift in the retail sector processes. COVID-19 pandemic accelerated it and also significantly changed the consumer shopping behavior. According to McKinsey article titled 'The great consumer shift: Ten charts that show how US shopping behavior is changing' (Authors: Tamara Charm, Becca Coggins, Kelsey Robinson, Jamie Wilkie), 75% of US consumers are trying a new shopping behavior during pandemic in response to economic pressures, store closings, and changing priorities. This general change in behavior has also been reflected in a shattering of brand loyalties, with 36% of consumers trying a new product brand and 25% incorporating a new private-label brand. Moreover, most consumers intend to continue this behavior beyond the pandemic-induced crisis. The McKinsey research find 10 key consumer behavior shifts: FLIGH TO ONLINE (1) Digital shopping is here to stay. (2) Millennials and high-income earners are in the lead when it comes to shopping online; SHOCK TO LOYALTY (3) Consumers are switching brands at unprecedented rates. (4) Brands need to ensure strong availability and also convey value; NEED FOR HYGIENCE TRANSPARENCY (5) US consumers are changing how they shop in response to health and safety concerns; BACK TO BASICS AND VALUE (6) Consumer shopping intent is focused on essentials. (7) Consumers want value for their money - especially in essential categories; RISE OF THE HOMEBODY ECONOMY (8) Americans are changing how they spend their time at home. (9) Americans are concerned about going back to regular activities outside the home; BEHAVIORS VARY BY CONSUMER SEGMENT (10) 'Great consumer shift' trends vary by consumer segment. With high levels of uncertainty and competitiveness in the market, retailers have to apply innovative strategies to retain and gain consumers. Ravi Pratap Maddimsetty, Chief Technology Officer of MobStac (a physical-to-digital experience management solution), suggests use of 'phygital' marketing, a hybrid marketing channel that captures customer data to deliver a personalized experience, and provides three aspects of phygital marketing that retailers must know before integrating it into their marketing strategy - (1) Retailers Can Enhance In-Store Convenience Through Phygital Marketing: 46% of consumers still prefer to shop in person, although 63% of shopping journeys start online; Retailers needs digital infrastructure to integrate online and in-store experience; 87% of shoppers say they would prefer to shop in stores with touchless or robust self-checkout options like QR code technology. (2) Not All Phygital Solutions Maintain the Same Security Standards: Prioritize data security while choosing a phygital solution; Consumers trust retail experience that secures their data; Evaluate the security of your phygital solution through the integration of safe QR code use. (3) Phygital Marketing Drives Customer Engagement With Proximity-Based Tactics: Utilize geofencing to create digital campaigns within a defined physical radius; Geofencing strategy should capture the frequency of customer foot traffic and push out relevant notifications for past customers and potential customers. Phygital delivers enhanced retail experiences and the opportunity to better customer engagement and retention by correctly implementing phygital marketing is growing. Read on...

Total Retail: Phygital Marketing: 3 Things Retailers Should Know About the Newest Marketing Channel
Author: Ravi Pratap Maddimsetty


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jan 2022

Design thinking is a concept that has found acceptance in many organizations and industries to develop a framework for creativity and innovation. The concept challenges the status quo and its application intends to bring distruptive change. The term 'design thinking' was first mentioned in the book 'Creative Engineering' by John E. Arnold that was published in 1959 and explained that the approach has 'the ability to resolve existent problems or propose an entirely new way of using a product, decrease production costs, and increase sales.' Many academics during 1960's started working to 'scienticize' design by understanding its characteristics, influences, processes, and methodologies. In the next decade 'design thinking' became popularized in various fields and the concept utilized 'creativity' as a means of addressing the accelerating need for innovation. Later on 'design thinking' evolved as a human-centered problem solving approach which utilizes the way consumers interact with a product as a basis to further develop it, instead of only relying on theoretical research, assumptions, and hypotheses. The approach involves various steps that include context analysis, observation, problem finding, brainstorming, ideation, creative thinking, sketching, prototyping, testing, and evaluating. It is a continuous improvement process and the steps may not be always in the same order. Design thinking is not specific to field of design and is utilized in variety of fields, disciplines, industries, markets etc. The early period of architectural study involves learning about the creative process of design, with an emphasis on individualistic expression, experimentation, and critical analysis, along with the basics of the technical and theoretical aspects of the profession. This provides the learner of architecture to look beyond the build space and explore and understand it as a response to the urban, communal, and environmental needs. Here the architect is thinking in a similar way as any other designer like graphic, web, interface, industrial etc, with just a different medium of implementation. Those architects that considered architecture discipline as too structured and traditional pursued careers in fields like UX design, design consultants, product and business innovation specialists etc. There they implemented their creative and innovative thinking and justified the shift. Many architects utilized design thinking approach within their profession to develop new systems for cities, buildings, and communities that are designed to fulfil the needs of the consumers instead of implementing the standard and traditional architectural approach. Even though many architects find it challenging to involve users in their creative process, a pre-requisite for design thinking process, but there is an overall scope to change and evolve the traditional architectural practice through design thinking approach. Read on...

ArchDaily: The Rise of the Design Thinking Movement and its Relation to Architecture
Author: Dima Stouhi



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