Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Building windmills, not walls…

Omnishopper, Chicago, 20-22nd July 2015  

How do shopper insights shape retail strategies? How can big data inform those insights?  What is the role of behavioural economics and cognitive psychology? The Omnishopper conference explored these questions through global brands from the high street. The relevance of Disney’s underground Operational Command Centre, to in-store ceiling heat sensors and virtual simulations to analysing 28k receipts in a day may be hard to see in connection to cultural retail. But our shops in museums and galleries are an integrated part of the retail eco-system. Budgets are different, systems are different but to be profitable in the sector, we need to know and act on this modern context. Lessons need to be learnt and applied to cultural commercial operations.


The Chinese proverb goes, ‘when the winds of change blow, some build walls and others build windmills…’ The retail experience is changing. Customers are changing. So how to make a profit is changing too. Who in the cultural retail sector will harness the winds of change to build windmills and embrace co-creation: respond to the impact of shared economies and create a truly integrated retail experience?         

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