As we head into the busiest retail season of the year, this week’s dose of inspiration covers all things shopping related – from REI’s Black Friday surprise closure, to PSFK’s 2016 Retail Trend predictions, to a new way to pay.
Unless you’ve been living under a social media rock this week, you probably heard about how REI revealed a plan to close on Black Friday and pay 12,000 employees to ‘Opt Outside.’ In this Forbes article, customer experience consultant Micah Solomon talks about why REI’s expensive decision to close on one of the busiest days of the shopping year was a smart move. Aligning with their mission that “being outside makes our lives better” – it fulfills customers’ desire for authenticity and attached meaning. Sure, it’s a coordinated marketing effort between ad and PR agencies, but it certainly is rooted in what they believe in. Do you think other retailers will follow suit?
On October 20th, PSFK launched the Future of Retail in NYC. The summary report here is built on trends and patterns in the market that help show retailers and brands how they can go beyond traditional commerce expectations to create an enhanced shopper experience – building value, driving sales, and boosting loyalty. PSFK provides thought on ten pillars that help deliver the “new shopper experience” – under each of them you’ll find trends to be inspired by. Do your clients’ retail experiences deliver on all of these pillars?
Google Wallet, Apple Pay, credit cards, debit cards … rewards on this, points on that. And now, there’s a new way to pay. PayPal cofounder Max Levchin has launched Affirm – on-the-fly credit loans with fewer fees and more customer transparency than traditional credit cards. When a customer makes a purchase at a retailer, Affirm uses their basic info to provide a micro-loan based on “thousands of data points” beyond a FICO score. Will customers like this new way to pay, and will retailers benefit from it, too?