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What patterns of change it takes for retailers and brands to build sustainable conversation in 2020 and beyond.

Parallell-what patterns of change it takes for retailers

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We are experiencing the biggest global driver of change seen in most people’s lifetime, and it is already forging new consumer attitudes. We’ve seen industries adapting to a new reality that demand flexibility, resilience and, above all, creativity. The current period has provided time for reflection, and whilst fear (environmental and financial) has presided as the reigning sentiment, some of us are pulling together to look towards a more positive future. It’s not only the youth who are determined to find joy but boomers (like me) strive for age equality, and smart companies are investing in the greying workforce. As career models are reshaped, people are looking to redefine what relevant role models will look like. To talk to a cohort that expects positive stimuli, the need to create simplicity in the online and In-store environment and enhance the shopping experience are paramount to engage shoppers in a sustainable and profitable manner. Some brands have already embraced the journey andinvested into inconversational commerce (hence the multiplication of livestreaming and shopping events to create Sales and Social ROI)which seems to pay off. Over the last few months, more brands have shifted towards livestreams event and there is a high probability to see this trend staying for good (LinkedIn profiling itself as one of the “New” players in this area). Just as the rise of e-commerce in China in 2003, the coronavirus is normalising livestream sales for Europe and North America. More than $413bn of goods will be sold through social e-commerce in China by 2022, an almost fivefold increase from $90bn in 2017. (Frost & Sullivan) And as conversational commerce channel is growing, shopping AR in 2020 is no longer a wishful thinking but a reality that retailers should physically embrace even more. In 2020, 100 million consumers (according to a 2018 Gartner survey) are expected to use AV/VR as it offers the convenience to try on items while they’re on the go or comfortable installed in their home. In addition, if you’re investing into an “Hyper local” distribution model with the opportunity to organise the demand not only for one shopper, but giving him/her the opportunity to join a community and benefit from an additional discount….then you’ve got a good chance to embrace a new joyful journey. Look for examples *  AliExpress and AR usage In store In 2019, AliExpress stores opened in Madrid, using smart mirrors to scan customers’ bodies. Shoppers at the store can browse a catalogue, virtually try on clothes and accessories, and buy them directly from the mirror, requiring little to no interaction with a salesperson. Hyper local commerce: Uniqlo Uniqlo is now using data collected from its digital retail channels to determine the location of future physical stores in China’s emerging regions. The brand plans to open 1,000 new stores by 2021, moving further inland into China’s western region. Uniqlo has invested heavily in improving its digital operations in China, developing its Tmall flagship store and launching a WeChat Mini Program store in 2018 to enhance reach and brand awareness among lower-tier cities, where it has no physical stores. claire claire.baillet@parallelladvisors.com

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