With a number of big-name retailers recently shutting up shop for good, this has reinforced just how important it is for stores to keep with the current trends and be willing to adapt to fulfil customer demands. No longer is it enough to have an established brand if you want to survive; retailers need to react to trends and stay one step ahead of their rivals. Here are some of the latest trends that savvy retailers need to be aware of.
Focus on experience
When customers make a purchase, increasingly they want more than a simple transaction. Go-getting retailers are recognising that offering customers unique and tailored experiences is the way forward to make their brand stand out from the crowd. Many of these shopping experiences incorporate the use of multi-media technology, so, for example, customers could use touch point screens to visualise how clothes would look without trying them on, or even how decor and furnishings would look in their home. Contrary to what some people might think, the demand for shopping experiences should help to ensure that brick-and-mortar stores thrive, despite the dominance of internet shopping.
Forward thinking retailers are increasingly looking at ways to make routine or chore shopping more streamlined for customers, such as by offering auto-renewal or one-tap purchasing. This gives consumers more time to focus on one-off, unique or luxury shopping purchases. Many of the routine aspects of shopping will be handled by robots or computers, such as packing items or tracking orders. Chatbots will also play a more dominant role in boosting customer relations and ensuring every stage of the purchase process is spot-on.
Focus on social media
Successful retailers already appreciate the importance of social media, but in order to thrive long-term, they'll need to do more than post the odd update or picture online. Retailers will need to step up their game on social media to engage with audiences, such as providing content, stories or videos in real time.
Trend setting retailers are recognising that consumers want to be treated as individuals, and as such, they don't want the same products or shopping experiences as the next person. This is fuelling the growth of customisation in retailing, where consumers are personalising or building products or experiences to suit their own unique tastes or requirements.
Provenance of products
For some time now, consumers have started to take an interest in where the goods they purchase have been made, and what they've been made from. This trend is set to soar, and so retailers that want to succeed should focus on sourcing products that are responsibly and locally sourced as well as environmentally friendly. With growing awareness of the harmful effects of plastic pollution, forward thinking retailers will be looking at ways to address this issue, offering less plastic packaging or switching to recyclable packaging sources.
If you need to make changes to your business to stay ahead of the trends, using contemporary and stylish shop fittings or displays from KAS Shopfittings can help make your products more eye-catching, and that can be the perfect first step to enhancing the whole customer experience.