By Haley Shoemaker During our trip to Singapore, I was assigned to work and research the Retail Industry. The most valuable insight about the industry came from our group sessions at Accenture because of the new mediums that the Accenture consultants showed to our class. Accenture used Design Thinking techniques, which we have used throughout our MBA but until Accenture’s workshop I had never seen how valuable these tools truly are.
The Accenture room that our sessions were held in looked like a giant shell, with entrance and an exit on either end of the shell. The walls were all painted using paint that worked as white board and we could draw all over all the walls in the room. It seemed like a cross between a futuristic business and a child’s playground. Throughout our time there, we were encouraged to map out our ideas visually on the walls and on various screens and projectors throughout the room.
One of the most interesting activities was our Retail industry group had to make predictions as to where we see the industry going in the future based on new technology. Our group focused on the clothing industry, so some of the conclusions that we came to were that the industry will use data from purchasing history, facial recognition and their information from various social media platforms, to target advertisements right to customers. Also because the stores will have increased knowledge about customers, they will be able to make customers feel as though they have a personal stylist as they are shopping.
Our team came to these conclusions by starting with technology on one end of the wall and drawing out the effects that it could have on the industry, using a Design Thinking layout. This process, in conjunction with my team, taught me the benefits of thinking visually and put a creative spin on our project.
On the plane ride back, I picked up the latest copy of Elle Magazine and read an article called Brave New Store, by Maggie Bullock who discusses the latest trends for the retail industry. I can proudly say that our Accenture retail group was spot on, and the techniques that they taught us, pushed us to see what was happening in the industry, although none of us are currently working in retail. The article discussed how stores are using purchasing history from credit cards and facial recognition to create the smartest and most highly advanced stores in the world. Brands are also growing stronger using this technology and gain more insight into their target market.
Originally posted on C-Lab Project.