From The Editor | March 9, 2009

A New Retail Era?

By John Roach, Editor, Retail Solutions Online

Green Hills Market CEO Gary Hawkins offers an intriguing premise in a series of new position papers. He feels the retail industry is currently entering a technology era he calls "Retail 3.0."

How did we get to Retail 3.0? In the early days of retailing (Retail 1.0, according to Hawkins), consumer goods manufacturers dominated the supply chain, turning marketing into a science, promoting national-brand consumer goods, and treating retail outlets as mere distributors of their popular products.

Hawkins believes the Retail 2.0 era began as retailers took control in the mid- to late-1990s, thanks to the success of their loyalty-card programs and also manufacturing industry consolidation. For the first time, Hawkins feels, retailers had more powerful and actionable consumer data than manufacturers did.

In the emerging Retail 3.0, the individual shopper now holds the power as retailers and manufacturers battle for technology-enabled, market-savvy consumers. Hawkins defines Retail 3.0 as "the next-generation retail ecosystem driven by relevant marketing to the individual shopper, supported by real-time marketing and supply-chain synergies, and built on the foundation of shopper-identified transaction data."