We all watched 2016 transform retail into a world driven by technology, speed, and constant change. In order to keep up with the new pace of marketing and sales, businesses had to be connected to stay three steps ahead of the technology trend of the day. We witnessed mobile transcend all generations, taking the lead for online sales platforms. It seems that each year brings new expectations by consumers, and in order to see growth, retailers need to keep up. Our prediction is that 2017 will be no different in regards to continuous change, which is why we are sharing some of our retail predictions for the new year.
Mobile – First, Everything Else – Second
Ecommerce and digital marketing needs to have mobile at the front of their minds. Each year, online traffic through mobile is doubling. We live in a fast-paced society, and customers desire a fast, one-touch checkout system. Mobile gives them the ability to do so. So how does your retail business adhere to the desires of your customers? Make their mobile experience with you as seamless of an experience as possible. Create mobile platforms that are easy to navigate and allow the customer to click and purchase in an instant – thus watching your mobile conversion increase instantly.
Focus on the Individual
I’m sure you have all noticed how ads on your Facebook newsfeed and even emails in your inbox from retailers have felt like they relate directly to you. How did they know that I wanted a new non-skid yoga mat? Why did this Warby Parker ad appear on my newsfeed right when I needed new glasses? It’s almost creepy that they can find you! But this type of advertising is strategic and highly effective. Technology allows retails to directly focus on individuals while promoting products and services, and we predict that this type of marketing will only continue to grow in 2017.
Authenticity for the Win
In the age of Millennials driving sales, trends have shown that consumers are seeking a more authentic experience with brands. This generation will stay loyal to brands that stand for good and right values. The customer wants to not only feel connected to a product or brand, but they also want to feel that through their purchase they are making an authentic social difference in their community. In 2017, retailers will gear more towards transparency, revealing where their products come from and how they will reward others. This means that advertising of brands will shift to complete honesty in their communication to their audience.
Brick-and-Mortar is Back
Although ecommerce continues to be on the up and up for sales, brick-and-mortar shops are becoming cool again. In fact, offline retail still drives a majority of spending in retail. Given that consumers like to feel a genuine connection to retailers, brick-and-mortar shops allow them to build a tangible relationship and feel an even deeper draw to the products they purchase. Ecommerce will continue to experience monumental growth in 2017, but we will also see retailers move forward towards an integrated commerce model in which their brand will have various selling touchpoint for their consumers.
Social Media Sales
You might have noticed that social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.) have begun to add “Buy” buttons to their posts and ads. The majority of big brands have embraced this button in order for their followers to be able to purchase immediately with just one click. This social commerce is expected to catapult even further in the upcoming year. This method of shopping will benefit all: the consumers, the brands, and the social networks.
A new year always provides exciting new trends, and we are eager to watch the retail world adjust and grow in the future. We have a feeling 2017 will be the most exciting year yet!