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Retail's death or renaissance?
Early on in this episode, Reda provides her perspective on the debate over whether retail is dying or undergoing a renaissance saying,"I think that if you find yourself in the pack of people who think that retail is dying, that you're really missing the big picture. [...] I see shopping as very vibrant. I look around me and see retailers re-imagining the selling experience, selling to consumers through multiple channels and in multiple ways and I think eCommerce has not in any way contributed to problems in our industry, but has provided tremendous opportunities for retailers of all shapes and sizes. They're embracing technology and they're making their shopping experiences online and in-store better than ever."
Find out what the Valtech perspective is on the retail death vs. renaissance debate here.
Retail innovation is happening now
Reda discusses what she sees as some of the most exciting innovations coming out of the retail industry today, in categories ranging from smart checkout line-free stores to voice-controlled tech.
Among the technologies, Reda addresses how AR/VR is being leveraged by companies looking to augment the in-store experience. Lewis shares that Valtech has in fact already created a VR solution that immerses customers in the world of home design and allows customers to experiment with over 16,000 possible product combinations! Watch this video for a demo of our immersive VR home design solution.
Further, Valtech has also used VR to transport a retail brand's customers to the great outdoors to try out their products, while optimizing the brand's limited retail floor space. You can learn about the immersive experience we developed for international retailer Decathlon here.
Organizations must be willing to quickly test, change and grow
Of the importance of constant testing to succeed in the retail industry Reda says: "I have talked to so many retailers over the years, and those who think to fight their way out of the highs and lows of this industry are those who have a greater willingness to test, fail, and repeat. In our industry, we have to constantly toss everything against the wall, see what works, pick what does, and move that ahead, and just keep that constant testing at the forefront."
Lewis agrees and expands on her point saying how organizations cannot afford to become complacent explaining, "So it's that thing of, yes it did work, it worked for a very long time, but that doesn't mean it's going to continue to work. You have to be willing to really talk about the sacred cows in your organization, and sometimes be willing to move away from it."
Listen to the first podcast in this series here.