Sunday shopping hours and temporarily out of stock notices should belong to yesteryear as retailers cater to Generation Now.

The new consumer has grown up in a digital age where online products like games and music are only ever a few clicks away and instantly available.

Those that aren’t selling digital products have to find new and innovative ways to satisfy the needs of the on-demand consumer.

Everything needs to be accessible, deliverable and remembered, as shoppers are more conscience about time, convenience and experience than ever.

Sadiq Khan recently outlined his intentions to push London closing times further into the night to compete on a global scale with the likes of Paris, Berlin and New York.

However, being physically open around the clock might be a loss maker for many stores. It’s about understanding changing consumer demand and shopping habits.

Not everybody is looking to the High Street and the wave of bedside buyers is growing.

Research from KPMG suggests the peak time for online shopping is between 6-9pm with 29% of online purchases made during this time and a further 11% of consumers buying between 9pm-midnight.

To understand demand, retailers need to be doing more with their data and with GDPR around the corner, doing it responsibly.

Engagements need to be recorded, integrated and communicated both online and offline to identify influences in demand and purchasing habits.

That means looking past historical transactions and types of products to understand why the purchases were made in the first place.

Consumers want to do less while expecting retailers to understand more – so how you predict their purchasing decisions is critical. This means looking at how they’ll buy and not just what they’ll buy.

We’ve seen a surge in click & collects and premium services like same day returns and deliveries within the hour.

New Look partnered with Doddle and extended their cutoff window for next day deliveries to 10pm.

It’s becoming a race to see how close retailers can come to matching consumers with their purchase. Sacrificing 24-hour outlets in favour of retail to your door services.

In 2018 retailers will move beyond on-demand to anticipate demand.

GPS shopping trolleys that guide you around the store with preset recipes built into them, or pre-ordered shops based on browsing habits, influences and past purchases.

Intelligent stores that crunch numbers and replenish stocks, ordering accordingly against faster selling products.

Smart houses that notify you of replacements and communicate with your previous purchases so you don’t have to.

This means retailers need more data, more profiling and more forecasting of purchasing demands.

Do you have the processes and hires in place to facilitate this or do you need to be hiring the right talent?

Check out my free guide on the top 5 hires in Retail for 2018:

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At Ampersand Consulting our aim is to unite people, process and technology.

As we establish ourselves as the go-to figures in the industry for connecting talent in the Retail Change & Transformation market, we may be able to help you.

Drop me a message or give me a call to start the conversation – 07540573476.