Jacqui Buffett examines seven retail trends all brands should be taking notice of.
1. Better together
People don’t buy brands in isolation and brands that remain in siloed thinking mode face the possiblilty of being in danger. Smart brands should be championing cross category ideas to provide shoppers with really valuable brand and product experiences.
Even smarter brands will be making collaboration the rule, not the exception, seeking out partners to imbue their brand with cool creative values well beyond their own.
2. Here, there, and everywhere
The line between e-tail and retail continues to blur and people are splashing their cash in every way possible. Shoppers write the rules and brands need to connect with them on multiple channels and touch points to ensure a smooth and seamless purchase journey.
3. Me, myself, and I
When it comes to reward programs, the ‘points for purchases’ model just doesn’t cut it anymore, it’s too focused on the retailer and less on the shopper.
With the sophisticated realm of customer data and access to social media, loyalty rewards will be replaced with ultra personalised awards that really hit the mark with the increasingly demanding. Instore is becoming a much more tailored experienced.
5. Sensual extravaganza
The edge physical retail will always have over online is the ability to really experience the products, so innovative and forward thinking brands will use this to their advantage. For shoppers to realise the value of actually going instore, brands need to up the ante in the sensorial stakes, immerse the shoppers in the product experience, be it through sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. Shoppers are ready to be wowed.
6. Concierge culture
To further enhance the instore experience retailers will need to do much more to up the service factor. Expect to see more concierge-like services, but without the price tag. Staff that are really invested in cultivating relationships with their customers, offering advice, solving problems, and demonstrating real empathy will win shopper hearts, minds, and wallets.
7. Mobile wallet
Cardless payments and withdrawals will increase over the next 12 months thanks to great solutions offered by the likes of Google and Apple. Expect less card swiping or cash handling and more phone scanning. The Mobile Wallet will allow users to store credit card information on smart phones and tap and pay at registers, using the fingerprint scanner for verification.
Jacqui Buffett is an account director at brand participation agency, 31ST:SECOND