Beatrice McGraw
Beatrice McGraw 2 January 2018
Categories Search Marketing

Experts Predict The Key Retail Trends for 2018

Experts are already predicting ways to excel in everything from consumer personalisation to in-store experience to technological advancements. Looking ahead, here are some of the predictions of the retail trends that may turn out to be a game changer in 2018.

Have you ever thought about “what the retail industry is up to in 2018?” If yes, then this round-up is for you. This blog will shed light on fundamental trends associated with the retail industry.

Things are not same as they used to be and conventional methods to draw consumer’s attention might not work. To develop groundbreaking business strategies, it’s important to understand what’s popular among your consumer base and where competitors are heading.

The year 2017, has been noted as a significant change in the retail trend. Many believe as the apocalypse of the retail industry making a positive impact on the needs of the customers. The retail brands have mostly made significant changes and improvements with the never-ending customer needs and requirements. However, 2018 itself is going to be a big boom on its own. It has been duly noted that consumers are showing positive signs of rejuvenated interest with consumer’s interest going to the top.

Experts are already predicting ways to excel in everything from consumer personalization to in-store experience to technological advancements. Looking ahead, here are some of the predictions of the retail trends that may turn out to be a game changer in 2018.

1. Promoting Transparency among Consumers

In the present age, consumers are well-informed, smart and self-aware about the products and brands due to digitization trend. Keeping this fact in mind, some retailers have exposed publically about their cost and pricing patterns to the consumers for their trust in return.

Everlane is the best example in this context. Everlane has exposed their production cost, transportation cost and flooring cost to consumers publically to gain the trust of their shoppers. Businessinsider reports that Everlane ranks in top 33 retailers that revolutionize the retail and embraced the transparency in the eyes and minds of the shoppers.

2. Increasing Trend of Personalization

Personalization is increasing each passing day in the retail industry. However, personalization now doesn’t refer to just adding customer name to a business email subject line.

Consumers are looking for more personalized features they really can connect with, and retailers are working on ways to appeal this desire.

Retailers are utilizing consumer buying history to target users with the content that tailors with their buying behavior. They are also using location-based technology like beacons to approach consumers with personalized offers on their mobile handsets.

Research has also found that 56% consumers believe offering personalized incentive will improve the brand consideration in the eyes and minds of the consumer. (Virtual Incentives - 2016). Therefore, the retailer needs to offer more loyalty programs to the users to strengthen their brand.

3. Offering more Customized Products to Consumers

Modern consumers are focusing on getting customized products to make their shopping experience exciting and more beneficial. The shoppers want to fit the shopping products with their personality and lifestyle to get more social recognition.

Therefore, some retailers are testing creative ideas for breaking through the clutter of traditional customization. Dresden is one of them. Dresden is an eyewear retailer. It offers sustainable, affordable and locally made eyewear.  Dresden revolutionizes the retail by providing consumers to create the pair of sunglasses according to their preferences. The consumers' interchange frame parts and lenses then select their pair of sizes and colors that fits their requirement.

4. Retailers are Creating Unique In-Store Experiences for their Consumers

Retail stores are offering unique and attractive in-store experiences; are expected to be the king of the retail industry in 2018 and beyond. The retailers that are delighting the consumers by delivering them unique experience they have won the heart of users. People love to keep coming back to a store with highest aesthetic appeal and organized arrangement of products. The retailers in this context attempt to create such a user experience that consumer have not found anywhere else.

Examples can be developing Omni-channels for shopping experiences, smart dressing space in Rebecca Minkofflocations and urban outfitters purchasing fast casual Pizzeria-Vetri.

5. Technology and Retail Industry

With each year passing by, transformation in technology has become more diverse and more compact. The success factor of the retail brands will solely rely on how well and quick the brands adapt to the needs of the customers as well as market trends. To stay more updated, the retail brands need to have extensive research on the marketing and fashion trends that come and go each day, month or a year.

Growing Emergence of Artificial Intelligence

Having described as the next big thing in technology, Artificial Intelligence has constantly been evolving and improving to make the lives easier for the people. With many technology companies working to improve it constantly the rise of chatbots, facial recognition technology and most importantly, robotics will have tons of opportunities in the next year. With this respect, retailers will have a significant amount of data to power it up with AI which will help the brands to deliver personalized, localized and customized experiences to cater the requirements of the customers. This significant change in technology is surely for the good which will make things more compact and easier for good.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots are most likely to appear in the form of robots in retail industry. The retailers such as Victoria’s Secret are utilizing chat-bots to showcase their goods and products.

The chatbots usage will also give rise to mobile commerce. The retailers will align their chatbots with social media apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. The chatbots will retrieve the information from the consumer via messenger (such as Whatsapp and Facebook etc.) and reply accordingly to the user’s requirement.

The chatbots are also wonderful to allow back and forth conversation with the buyers. It gives sufficient information to the potential prospect during the conversation that helps in the qualified lead generation as well as effective lead conversion.

H&M and Pizza Hut are experimenting chatbots for catering consumer buying requirement on a regular basis.

6. Emergence of Mobile Payments across Retail Industry

People are moving toward cashless society over the time. It is a striking fact that sooner or later retail industry will receive payment through smartphones.

Mobile payments will account for $503 billion by 2020 (business insider).

Therefore, it is proven that mobile e-commerce is the future of the retail industry. Retail stores that won’t adopt mobile payment systems are more like to fall behind in the marketplace, and all that boom in sales and revenue may slip into the competitor’s pocket. Apps like POS system and Kohl’s pay are also used for facilitating mobile payment solutions.

7. Same Day Delivery Facility

80 percent consumers want delivery on the same day while 61 percent shoppers need their packages faster within 1 to 3 hours of requesting an order. (Temando Research Survey).

It is a consistent challenge for retailers to meet such consumer requirement. Implementing the same day delivery is not always realistic because it depends upon the order and geographical distance of the consumer along cost element. In other words, will same-day delivery demand meet the logistic support? Will serving order be feasible to the retailer based on the location of retailer and consumer?

It is crystal-clear that consumers demand fast delivery they want their packages instantly. Here, retailers have to find out ways to cope up the demand of the consumers.

The bottom line is...

Retailers have to work out research and development while coordinating their strategic marketing team that how well they can respond to modern retail trends. Responding effectively to these trends can make opportunity for the retailer to take advantage. And if a retailer won’t effectively respond to these trends, these trends can also become a threat to a retail entrepreneur. All it depends on how well you evolve efficiently with your consumers.

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