The retail market is regularly changing dependent on customer demands with some customers expecting retailers to not only fulfil demands but also to be able to predict customer needs. 2020 was a challenging year for most retailers, with a lot of brick and mortar store closures and a footfall decline it is more important than ever that retailers can retain the customers they have and attract new ones.
Here are a list of retail trends that have been observed so far.
Consumers are now checking what is available in the market, even when in a store they can still check on their phone what the competition is selling the same product at and in some cases the stock levels available.
Both AI (artificial intelligence) and analytics will be at the forefront of bringing customers through the store door. AI can improve customer experience which is incredibly important to make a store stand out from their competitors. Analytics and AI can also make a customer's journey with a retailer a much more personal one.
Consumers are now aware of the damage that certain items especially plastic are doing to our environment. Retailers are conscious of the majority of customer's feelings on harming the environment, so are ensuring use of less plastics and more sustainable materials. This can have a direct impact on which product a customer chooses to buy.
Building a customer's buying experience around their specific tastes can make the shopping experience more personal and enjoyable. If a customer can find the items they are looking for quickly and easily rather than having to go through lots of other items that is of no interest to them – they will return to the place offering them what they need, whether that is online or in-store.
A large influence now on how and where customers buy is social media for a variety of reasons. Some customers utilise social media for reviews or to give reviews of specific products, services or companies. Others like to stay on top of fashion trends, look for promotional offers and some customers purchase products directly from social media channels. There are now 'Buy it' buttons available on social media channels which more and more brands are experimenting with to connect with their customers.
Retail trends will continue to change based on customer needs and those retailers that do not keep up with these trends could lose customers as a result.
Related Service: Store Stocktaking