Dear Member October 22, 2018

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Dear Member,

Like many people, I resist change so I have to really see the benefits before I can embrace any change. One place that I see tremendous evolution is in the world of retail. Shopping has always been one of my favorite pastimes. The thrill of the hunt and finding the perfect thing at the perfect price is exhilarating. I've spent the better part of my life learning the art of shopping.

 
As a kid, I would take the bus or train into the city, checking out the big department stores as well as the small shops that were anchored by these giants. Fewer and fewer of these anchor stores still exist today. Shopping as we once knew it is quickly changing. It's no longer enough to have variety to choose from but it has become all about the experience. Today's savvy shoppers and the world of technology have joined forces and the two have married, changing the buyer's behavior and forcing sellers to re-examine their approach. The way today's smart consumer does research before buying, checking out prices and getting recommendations from peers, has transformed the buying experience.
 
Fortunately for the brick and mortar stores, customers are still wanting the social and real-time/real-life experiences they offer. Smart retailers are realizing that they can combine with new technology to gain a competitive edge in today's markets by using social media strategies, like digital coupons and incentives that appeal to the human condition, to drive business to their stores.
 
In the world of mobile devices, instant information can be a shop-keeper's best friend. Knowing the customers' buying habits and trends can increase engagement and build loyalty from their base. Technology is transforming the shopping experience and greater change is yet to come. Imagine walking into a store that lets you sign-in on your mobile device, and gives you your recent purchases with an overview of  new items that suit your own personal style. I love this idea!
 
I think John Naisbitt had it right when he said, "The most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will not occur because of technology but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human." Successful retailers are paying attention to what it means to be human, and expanding their offerings to fit the wants of their clientele.
 
 
Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive.

Peggy White
Executive Director 

Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce 
peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info 
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