You usually the trends articles coming out around the end and beginning of the year because that’s when everyone’s getting their business plans in place. However, you still have time left in 2018 and you can get a jump on 2019 by understanding key trends driving retail going forward.
Here’s some big ones to understand and act on:
1. Experiential Marketing
This is what you can do in-store that online retailers simply cannot match. For example, Restoration Hardware isn’t just a hardware store. Instead, in their flagship stores, they offer in-person experiences of the bars and bistros they can help you make so you get immersed in the actual experience of the final product.
How can you make the same happen in your own store?
2. A Hyperfocus on Efficient Logistics
Americans have more leisure time than any previous generation. However, they also spend more of that time in front of one of their many digital screens. They don’t want to waste their time trying to figure out what to buy, only to find out it costs too much.
Smart retailers offer in-store pickup, omnichannel online shopping, same-day delivery (locally if nothing else), and reliable delivery estimates.
Tough to execute because of all the moving pieces. But necessary if you want to thrive.
3. Showcase Your Brand Values In-Store
Amidst all the retailers filing bankruptcy or shutting down mass numbers of stores, Microsoft and Dyson are actually opening their first stores. Yes, right here in 2018.
Part of the reason lies in their wise decision to differentiate. But part of it also reflects their desire to connect with consumers on a deeper emotional level by sharing their brand values.
Millenials, the generation who will have more spending power than any previous one, want to spend money with companies who take care of the environment, have a high sense of general social responsibility, and who have their businesses optimized for digital shopping.
How can you execute the same and serve your own market?
4. Scintillating Service from Associates
If a customer enters your store looking for a blue dress recommended online by a friend, do your associates know how to quickly find it?
A 2018 PwC Global survey found the number one factor for customers to have a positive in-store experience lies in your sales associates’ knowledge.
Can your team quickly, efficiently, and accurately answer any store associate question thrown their way?
Retail isn’t easy. And it won’t get any easier. But these trends give you an indication of what to focus on to not just survive, but lead the future.