“we anticipate stores to double down on these strategies and continue to find ways to bridge the gap between offline and digital channels ,,, In addition, we expect platforms such as social media and mobile to play bigger roles in people’s shopping experiences.”
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Every small business owner knows that continued growth is the key to adding value to a business. And, there’s no better time than the 2015 holiday season to take advantage of the latest trends in retail shopping to grow your business.
Several major trends in retail shopping over the past few years – from spending demographics, to showcasing products, can be leveraged to stay ahead of your competitors and increase sales.
- Baby Boomer and Millennials will Influence Retail Sales. The needs and preferences of two of the most prominent generations, baby boomers and millennials, will drive retail. Baby boomers will influence retails with their post-retirement needs, such as an emphasis on youth and vitality. As they approach their 70s, drugstore chains are responding by re-merchandising their products and adding carpeting.In contrast, retailers will target millennials – the largest group of smartphone owners – by investing more in mobile. They will also speed up their customer service and fulfillment process, as millennials are impatient, expecting things to be only a click away.
- Social Networks Become Shopping Platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have recently added shopping functionalities, enabling retails to use them as shopping platforms, while marketing their products and talking to customers. Major retailers, such as Nordstrom and Target, have already adopted this trend.
- Corporate Social Responsibility Attracts Sales. Consumers purchase decisions are heavily influenced by retailers that invest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 2015 is expect to be the year that more brands will invest in ethical and good deeds initiatives. CSR improves the shopping experience by making customers feel good in knowing they’ve contributed to a worthwhile cause.
- New Loyalty Programs Replace “Earning Points”. The practice of earning points for purchasing has become so common place that it no longer has is as effective in attracting customers. Instead, retails are developing new types of loyalty programs, such as earning points or customized perks for accomplishing certain activities.
- Big Data and Analytics Will Be Used to Grow. Data analytics are now more accessible and affordable for small businesses. Retailers can now analyze foot traffic so they can make better decisions and tailor customer interactions. They can also use data to better understand their customers and provide them with customized shopping experiences.
- More Data Security for Customer Transactions. In recent years, retailers have experienced far too many data breaches that have damaged their businesses. Now more than ever, we expect retailers to make data security and risk mitigation a top priority.
- More Retailers Will Control Their Value Chain. Retailers will achieve customer loyalty and profitability through having complete value chain control, from creation all the way to consumption. Single product retail, and private label merchandise, as well as more robust order fulfillment and distribution practices will allow retailers to provide better products and a better overall customer experience.
- Ecommerce Sites With Brick-and-Mortar Shops. This trend first emerged in 2014 and is expected to continue into the future. While many shop online, the majority of overall retail purchases is still taking place in physical shops offline. This trend follows a growing need for retailers to provide seamless online to in-store experiences with both a physical and digital presence.
- Localization of Retail Products and Store Formats. Retailers will customize their inventory to be more neighborhood specific, while also changing their store formats to better meet the needs of the local community.
- Mobile Will Play a Major Role In Shopping. As smartphones and tablets continue to grow in usage, more retailers will introduce mobile loyalty apps and programs. Shoppers will no longer have to carry around a stack of loyalty membership cards. Mobile ordering and mobile payment solutions will also become more prevalent.
- Omnichannel Strategies Will Continue to Thrive. Stores, such as Macy’s, which use multiple channels to serve customers, will see the payoff. Marketing via mobile and online-to-offline is one way retailers are targeting customers who make their purchases through a variety of convenient options.