How Will Customers React To Your Business In The Next Evolution of Retail?
Over the last few years, analysts have predicted doom and gloom for the future of retail. We’ve seen a record number of prominent retailers shutting down. According to analysts, 2018 was going to be a particularly rough year for brick and mortar retailers.
As it turned out, though, 2018 was a booming year for retailers that could provide a new customer experience. Instead of the apocalyptic version of the pasty-faced consumer clicking away furiously online, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in shopping as a pastime.
People like the convenience of online shopping. But nothing beats the experience and immediacy of being able to pick up a product in a store.
The future of retail is more personalized. Forget trudging through miles of malls and envision a more integrated online and offline experience. We’ll see consumers being able to connect to their profiles online to make checkouts simpler and easier.
Pop-up stores and more intimate experiences will become sought after. Consumers want to support the little guy. Clients may come into a store to check out a product and order it online. Shopping will become a more social experience.
People are Sick of Unethical Business Practices
Amazon is known for its unethical practices and makes no excuses for them. According to Money Inc. Jeff Bezos is proud of what he terms the “dog eat dog practices” in his company. This attitude may have the company a lot of money, but it’ll cost them in the future.
Consumers are actively looking for companies that treat their employees and suppliers fairly. While companies like Amazon are considered untouchable, public opinion will change that.
Consumers Want Brands to be More Sustainable
We’ve seen this becoming increasingly important over the last few years. Consumers are using their buying power to vote out brands that only pay lip-service to sustainable business practices. The future of retail is a place where brands consider every aspect of their offering more carefully.
We’ve already seen an increase in the use of recyclables and greener products. In the future, we’ll see this trend develop even more.
Clever Advertising is In
In-store product displays are going to be even more critical over the next year or so. Consumers had fun with gimmicky advertising. Think in terms of Glossier’s all-pink pop-up shops. Advertising in the future is going to have to be unique rather than gimmicky.
Partnering with print companies offering personalized and customizable solutions will be essential in establishing a good brand identity.
Digital marketing will still play a significant role, but brands need to attract attention in-store as well. The competition to distinguish yourself in the online world is fierce. That will lead to the adoption of more traditional marketing techniques in the future.
Brick and mortar retailers have a bright future if they can adapt to new trends. It seems that consumers are quite happy to support a “real” store, if it can offer them a unique or exciting experience.
Companies that can seamlessly combine the convenience of digital with a pleasant offline experience will prove to be the winners.