The retail industry has changed drastically in the past decade. Retail stores are focusing on fast and convenient service for customers. This may mean voice-activated ordering, self-checkouts, or free shipping.
The retail industry took a hit in 2017 with many stores forcing to close because they could not keep up with the competition. Some called it the “retail apocalypse” when hundreds of stores closed due to the evolution of the retail industry.
Staying competitive in this market is not easy. There are so many new emerging trends in the retail industry that it is impossible for businesses to keep up. This article will highlight important industry trends that you should be aware of to help increase sales and improve your bottom line.
Hot Retail Trends Emerging in 2018 Create a Personalized Shopping Experience
The biggest trend in today’s retail market is being “personal” with your advertising and customer’s purchasing experiences. Retailers invest more in making every shopper’s experience personal than in any other area of marketing.
Personalization is a fluid term that can mean different things to different people. Customers want the freedom to adjust their orders to fit their needs without having to pay extra. They want to receive emails that are directed to them personally, not mass-marketing billboards. Retail stores must embrace this new trend in order to stay competitive.
What is ROPO, and Why is it Important?
Retail markets can no longer measure their success simply based on how many sales they have in one day. Research online, purchase offline (ROPO) is an emerging trend for retail shoppers. ROPO allows customers to research a product online and choose the product they want before entering a store. Customer reviews and ratings of your product are extremely important and will affect sales.
Many shoppers believe researching online is a must before going to the brick-and-mortar store. ROPO allows shoppers to make an informed decision about the product they want to purchase. Retail stores must have better descriptions of their products online and improve their customer support online if they want customers to be loyal to their company.
New Trends in Technology That are not Going Away
Voice commands, virtual reality, and one-click buying options are just a few emerging technology trends that retail stores should consider investing in. Virtual reality makes it possible to view your product before you buy it. Customers can view a new bathroom before remodeling or virtually place items in their living room. These features are still being developed, but they are likely to become more common in the future.
The most popular technology trend that will only get better and better as time goes by is voice command shopping. Amazon and Google are in a fight to create the best, most affordable, voice-activated speakers and smart devices. These devices are beneficial to retailers because Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home can make recommendations to customers by specific brands and help increase sales for retail stores.
Work With Other Companies to Give Your Customers What They Need
Some assembly required. Those are the three most-feared words in the retail business. Customers do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a product only to find that they don’t have the right screwdriver to put it together. If you sell furniture or large items that need to be put together, you can consider advertising professionals who can assemble the products for customers on your website. This will help attract customers who do not want to pay large sums of money to have it installed or assembled, or simply do not have to talent or resources to do it themselves.
PriceWaiter is Your Own Online Negotiator
This is a new product that is designed to help bargain-shoppers purchase the product from you rather than searching multiple websites for the lowest price. PriceWaiter can haggle with customers who want to leave your site by offering a lower price, within your set limit, and ultimately make the purchase from your company.
The Battle for Marketplace Dominance
Amazon and Walmart are two of the largest online marketplaces. Online marketplaces are beginning to dominate online retail shopping. They allow shoppers to view multiple different sellers who have the same item, and find the lowest price available, even if it is not being sold through the main website such as Amazon. This allows marketplaces to make money on products they do not have readily available.
There are several advantages to using the marketplace. It is profitable. Marketplaces can charge as much or as little as they want to sellers who want to use their service. Customer satisfaction increases because they are more likely to find the exact product they are looking for, rather than settling. It is a stepping stone to entering new regions of the world retailers never imagined they could reach.
Trends for Grocery Shopping Online
Shoppers can get virtually anything delivered to their doors now. So the obvious next step would be getting your groceries online. This new trend is becoming more popular in America in the past few years, although South Korea is the current leader of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales in the world.
Large one-stop-shop grocery stores are common in America. The trend of buying groceries online shows that Americans are only buying certain items. They are not using online grocery shopping to replace their big shopping trips. To improve sales and convince more customers to buy online, services such as AmazonFresh and FreshDirect are altering their services. One hour shipping, lowering the cost of items, and drive-through pickup are a few new services being tested to help improve sales.
There are so many changes happening the retail market, and these are just a few of the new trends. Customers and retailers are relying more and more on technology and online shopping. In order to stay competitive and keep your company from becoming one of the casualties of the retail apocalypse, learn as much about the changing industry as possible.