Credit: iStock.com by Tzido
The shift from physical to digital retail was well underway before the pandemic hit, but the closure of physical locations has accelerated the trend. This has exposed a weakness in sales for many retailers that have been slow to adapt to the changing marketplace. Retailers that don’t embrace emerging trends and technologies will continue to lose sales as consumers turn to more convenient and user-friendly options. While it may be difficult for some businesses to make the transition, it’s clear that those that don’t adapt will be left behind.
From multichannel marketing to millennial shopping preferences, some of the key trends that will impact retailers in the next five years include:
Increased Multichannel Marketing
Shoppers will go online to learn product information, see new items, become comfortable with your store and your brand. However, ultimately, your store must build a relationship with new customers. That contact must be maintained in person, on social media, through text or email, and emerging interactions. In addition, multichannel marketing allows businesses to track the performance of each channel and adjust their strategy accordingly. By investing in a multichannel approach, businesses can give themselves a competitive edge and better meet the needs of its target audience.
More Focus on Transparency and Sustainability
Sustainability and transparency will play a more important role for all retailers in the years ahead as consumers become more committed to increasing environmental and social progress. Traceability and transparency of supply chains and raw materials sourcing will be critical. Consumers will want to know that the products they purchase are not contributing to deforestation, human rights abuses, or other negative environmental and social impacts. Retailers that can provide this information will be able to build trust with consumers and reap the rewards of being seen as a responsible business.
Self-Gifting Will Continue to Grow
This trend is expected to continue as more consumers won’t hesitate to purchase a luxury item that they desire for themselves — e.g., an expensive piece of jewelry or a high-end bag or belt. Clienteling software can help retailers develop and maintain relationships with these customers, providing them with more personal and informed customer service.
Social Media Will Be Indispensable to Your Marketing Mix
Social media has replaced traditional media as the primary channel for reaching consumers. According to a recent study, more than a quarter of social media users use social platforms for “inspiration for things to do and buy.” Another 26.3 percent use social media for “finding products to purchase.” As the use of social media continues to grow among every consumer group, retailers need to have a strategy in place for reaching and influencing consumers on those channels. Social media provides a unique opportunity for retailers to connect with their customers and create a two-way dialogue. In addition, social media platforms can be used to drive sales and promote special offers.
Millennial Shoppers Will Transform Retail Purchasing
Millennial consumers are the first generation to have completely come of age in a digital marketplace, with expectation of immediate and 24/7 access to the information and products they want from their mobile devices. They’re also making purchases in new and interesting ways: 86 percent of millennials are digital buyers. As of February 2021, more than two-thirds of millennials (70 percent) indicated that they planned to spend more on leisure services and products to treat themselves. Over the next few years, as this generation’s buying power increases, retailers will need to have innovative, flexible platforms to meet these evolving needs and preferences.
It’s an exciting time to be in retail. The industry is constantly evolving as new technologies and ideas come into play. We’ve seen some key trends emerge over the past year, and we expect these trends to continue well into 2022 and beyond.
Total Retail is the go-to source for executives looking for the latest news and analysis on the retail industry. Be sure to bookmark this helpful and relevant site: https://www.mytotalretail.com/
If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form