To say there has been some disruption in retail over the past couple of years would be a massive understatement. Here are 6 trends that are happening right now that will only continue to grow, as the way customers shop has changed forever.
1) The internet has supercharged what is happening in retail. From the absolute need to shop anywhere, anytime 24/7, voice ordering (Alexa), refrigerators smart enough to order for us and the continued capture of big data, so retailers know more and more about our buying habits.
2) Retailers have to provide added value to customers to entice them into their stores. This is the face of the experience economy which we are firmly into and retailers not investing in their store layout, technology and their people to meet and exceed customer’s expectations will simply be left behind.
3) Personalised service is in. Via the capture and use of data, retailers can now provide super personalised service to customers. Retail staff will be able to easily use technology that tells them in an instant, what the customer bought last time, what they have searched for so they can personalise their approach with each individual customer.
4) Retailers have to make it easy for customers to buy from them. This includes seamless movements from online to offline and vice versa so customers don’t drop off. In today’s “want it now” environment, allowing customers to scan to purchase from TV ads, YouTube clips etc. The buying experience needs to be frictionless.
5) Delivery has to be fast and efficient. We are seeing retailers invest huge money in setting up automated warehouses to enable faster picking and packing. There are drones and robots delivering products to customers doors. The fight for the fastest, and most efficient delivery process will be ongoing.
6) Product sustainability and impact on the environment is enormous. In particular the younger generation have this as a sharp focus and this trend will become even more pronounced. This will impact where products are made, how they are labelled and what products retailers are and aren’t prepared to stock.
Retail is certainly changing and requires investment in technology, store layout and people to keep you ahead of the pack.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.