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Innovation in Retail: Is it Possible?

While facing the challenges of doing business in Brazil, such as logistics and transport, tax burdens, regulatory environment, among others, Brazilian Retail has been very creative and innovative. To draw the customer's attention, there is a new wave of innovation in various segments associated with two key factors: rapid technological change and the transformation of consumer profiles. Retailers are exploring these realities to differentiate themselves and offer new experiences that delight their customers.

As an innovation expert who works with Business Development at Thoughtworks Brazil, retail leaders are increasingly becoming familiar with these new paradigms and seeking alternatives to innovate in the customer experience space. However, there are many companies whose main challenge is internal efficiency and business productivity. Overall, retailers who want to lead innovation in Brazil should embrace the opportunities and the challenges that come along.

A key challenge for innovation is changing the company mindset. To become innovative in this market, solutions and approaches need to change. Many retailers say they are innovative, but still tend to maintain complex legacy systems, use shelf solutions in areas of great potential for competitive differentiation, maintain organizational structures in silos, perform projects in a traditional way, and that imposes barriers to innovation and creating truly differentiated experiences between consumer and brand.

The new consumer wants to be engaged by a purpose, to be treated in a personalized way, and to have a nice and differentiated shopping experience. They want to be empowered when they choose what to buy. An example of this type of engagement is Domino's Pizza in Australia. With a concept of "create a pizza and get a piece of the profit," the Pizza Mogul app allows consumers to create their recipe and make it available for sale on the Domino's menu. For each pizza sold, the customer gets virtual currency (Mogul Dough), which can be redeemed for cash, used on new purchases or donated to charity. This example brings a new business model with a higher purpose, which allows for a very different relationship with the brand.

Real innovation means getting out of your comfort zone. It involves paradigm shifts and structural changes. I believe that the future belongs to the companies that can continuously be creative and reinvent their business, discovering and exploring emerging opportunities. We'll see brave retailers pioneering, while the ones that hesitate will be left behind. 

Article originally published at Decision Report.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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