You’re more than just a dedicated follower of fashion, you’re the king or queen of all things retail with a finger on the pulse of consumer trends; but do you know where retail is heading for 2019?
1 – It’s All About Mobility
If your business is not available in an online, mobile-friendly version, then you’re falling way behind the trend for shopping on the go. More and more of us are placing orders for clothes, electronics or books from the back of taxis, on train rides or just in the comfort of our own homes.
Many consumers no longer feel they have time to spend traipsing around malls. They simply want to order online and get it done. Remember too, these customers will use online tools to compare prices and availability.
Admittedly, this trend is hardly new, but with the promise of even smarter technology that reaches out to customers with the power of suggestions, the growth of mobile and online shopping is set to change the face of retail forever.
2 – Me, Me, Me
As mentioned above, the rapid rise of technology means retailers are no longer simply online or offline marketplaces, and must carefully consider their place in a world of SEO web content. Research shows Google searches are becoming more and more personal with users asking for customized recommendations based on previous searches and/or geographical location.
Tanya Burrell, a retail writer at Writemyx, says, “We have very high standards of what we expect online retail to be. Nowadays we want personalisation and a tailor made service for our needs. When we want to buy something, we expect it there, ready and waiting for us. We want it delivered quickly, cheaply and on time.”
However, this personalisation comes with a warning. What customers don’t want to see is their privacy breached, and to feel that their details have been shared to third parties.
3 – Social Media Is the New Commercial Advertising
You obviously noticed those banner ads and sponsored posts that started appearing on Facebook and Instagram, not to mention the branded filters in Snapchat – the rise of social media advertising is relentless. It won’t be slowing down any time soon, either.
With both a hard and soft approach, retailers are happy to direct their marketing budget to word-of-mouth campaigns or the more obvious advertisements for greater brand recognition. Print advertising may not be dead, but specifically targeted advertising for your audience is very much on the rise. More research will be done into audience segmentation using faster and more probing technology, meaning adverts will go exactly where the targeted audiences hang out on social media.
4 – Let’s Hear It For AI
We all knew it was coming with the dawn of Alexa and Siri, but predictions for artificial intelligence in retail indicate the future is very exciting.
Having your own AI personal shopper is no longer just a concept but a reality that surely can’t be too far off.
“It’s an exciting time in retail. Market leaders are out there trying to push technology to the limits and to see where it can take us all over the next few years. While I don’t think physical stores are dead, they must try and keep up with online retail to stay open and operating successfully,” so says Christopher Keane, a content manager at Originwritings and 1day2write.
5 – Demanding Deliveries
With drone delivery already underway, technology is ahead of the game when it comes to delivering packages to hard to reach locations.
But, just because your parcel can now be brought to your mountain chalet, it doesn’t mean you’re prepared to wait for it to get there.
While one- or two-day deliveries are still the norm, days of paying high prices for same-day deliveries are behind us. The future of deliveries is much more dynamic. Predictions show that not even same-day deliveries will not satisfy everyone. They point to near-instant delivery as a future of retail – that customers will have to wait only a few hours, and that expectations will only grow higher if the store has a nearby presence.
Watch this space for the latest in retail trends guaranteed to shake up the market place. It’s an exciting time to be a retailer and consumer.
About the writer: Tim Colley works at Academic Brits as a marketing and business writer. His passions include helping companies build effective marketing strategies and writing online articles and blogs.
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