Future of Retail

Positioning Consumer Product Companies to Adapt

As the pandemic upends lives worldwide, it’s accelerating digital adoption in retail, and impacting the future of retail. From e-commerce expansion to frictionless shopping, curb side pickup, and direct to consumer channels, “the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years” (IBM’s U.S. Retail Index)

Our consumer product clients must adapt to changing consumer demands. We help them solve challenges that include how to:  

  • respond to the shift in consumer behavior because of COVID-19.
  • remain connected to consumers, and differentiate themselves from new e-commerce competitors. 
  • understand, anticipate and prepare for how consumers will respond to frictionless shopping, augmented reality, and other touchless options.
  • identify technologies and partners that help them move into the future of retail.  

Impact Stories

Through technology monitoring, we inform clients on developments, potential partners, and competition in touchless technology. Our insights help our clients understand the trends that are impacting their industry, creating opportunities and presenting threats.

Using foresight, we help consumer product and food companies understand the consumer of the future. This includes how and what these consumers will purchase and what will influence their buying. As a results, our clients understand what they must do today to prepare. 

In our work with consumer products companies, we help them understand how connected devices add additional value, provide opportunities to expand or rewrite business models, and lead to growth. 

smart and connected devices

The pandemic introduced concerns about disease transmission through surfaces. We helped our client understand fundamentals of disinfection and sanitation. We curated enabling technologies and partners to enhance ease of cleaning. And, we identified new technologies that could lead to new products that signal cleanliness to the consumer.  

Our Experts

Jeff Cope

Jeff Cope leads innovation work focused on technology landscaping and partnership development activities among our Fortune 500 clients. He helps optimize the efficiency of technology transfer practices and economic development activities for universities, and works with different regions and states to help identify innovation assets and build targeted economic development strategies.  Jeff enjoys sharing his insights related to open innovation, technology scouting, and commercialization. Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S.M. in Business Management from North Carolina State University.

Cary Strickland

Cary Strickland brings to our clients experience helping product development teams find the right partners, assess technology options, or evaluate their competition for developed and emerging markets. He has expertise in technology scouting, landscaping and evaluation, market opportunity analysis, and technology-inspired ideation and human-centered design. He has managed projects in infrastructure and construction, industrial coatings and chemicals, food, and packaging; his international experience includes Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines. Cary has an M.E.M. in Engineering Management from Duke University, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and a B.S. in Paper Science Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Alison Sykes, Ph.D.

Alison Sykes, Ph.D. assesses technologies for commercial potential, performs market research, and creates commercialization strategies for high-potential technologies, and has experience in technology areas including antimicrobials/pesticides, controlled-release technologies, new and emerging coatings and materials. Her background includes organometallic chemistry from her work as a research associate while completing her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry and water disinfection from her postdoctoral associate position, both from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from Washington and Lee University.

Adam Klich

Adam Klich focuses on technology commercialization and business model strategy, and has worked in sectors that range from energy to wearables, software, optics, manufacturing, medical, and consumer goods. A certified Human-Centered Design Practitioner and a certified New Product Development Professional, previously, he co-founded a start-up with technology licensed from the Air Force Research Laboratory. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Adam received an M.S. in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

What consumer products challenge can we help you solve?