SAG_Twitter_MEME_Fast_Strong_Feb19I watched The Incredibles movie with my son at the weekend, and was reminded of a powerful session I saw at the Gartner Symposium in November.

The session, titled “Retail Scenarios for 2025 & Beyond,” had Bob Hetu, Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services, explain the most influential elements of a four-quadrant retail model: How technology is used and how much personalization the customer expects.

Superhero Quadrants

Here is where The Incredibles movie comes in. Bob’s four quadrants have the different superhero attributes: Speed, strength, invisibility and elasticity.

  • Speed. Delivering quality but offering a generalized customer experience. The focus is on price, availability, convenience, quality. Examples include Lidl and Aldi.
  • Strength. Providing a contextual personalized experience which requires a great deal of strength and manual effort. The focus is on quality, sustainability, expertise, customization, and co-creative design. Scaling is difficult here. Examples include the Dover Street Market.  
  • Invisibility. Making processes in the back room more effective. The focus is on price, availability, convenience, quality, effort, fulfilment options, sustainability, expertise. This is an effective model for many retailers today. Examples include Tesco, Walmart, Target.
  • Elasticity. Stretch to deliver personalization using technology. Price is not always as important for customers. This is the most difficult and expensive area to operate in – but it is high risk/high reward. Examples –are StitchFix and Nordstrom.

As Bob said: “Many retailers don’t make choices – [and they] become victims of what is happening around them.”

Avoid this by figuring out where you sit - and where you aspire to sit - so you can use the knowledge to drive your technology strategy. Use your superhero qualifications to become an Incredible retailer.

Read Bob’s blog about this here.

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