The world of retail is changing fast, but the bricks-and-mortar store is far from dead. From new technologies in stores to curated subscriptions, read on as we explore the retail trends predictions for 2018.
Once upon a time the internet was expected to transform the retail industry, and it’s true, of course, that things have changed, but the retail store is far from history. What people want now, however, is a seamless online-offline experience. They will expect to be able to pick up goods in-store that they have pre-ordered online that day. They will expect the range they can see online to be available offline too. Customers may purchase goods via their phones, even when they are in an actual store, and simply go to a pick-up point to collect.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Curated Subscriptions’, these will be subscriptions to goods or services that are tailored around the individual shopper. Subscriptions are becoming commonplace in the world of beauty products and have even become available for baby clothes with the Baby Gap Outfit Box and for board games with Hasbro. All the best subscriptions, including TV and magazines, will be bespoke to the individual consumer.
The Store Experience Re-imagined
The store experience altogether will be re-imagined, and it will be all about the soft sell. Customers will enter stores looking for an experience rather than to just shop. Virtual reality, as seen at retailers such as Topshop, will get people through the door, as will the chance to be your own star with in store stages and DJ booths. Younger shoppers especially expect to be entertained, but everyone wants to be made to feel comfortable. This can be achieved with sofas and charge points as well as in store media such as music provided by https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-music-for-business/. The hard sell is out and an enjoyable store experience is in.
Social media will continue to play a massive role in our lives, and stores that are ‘Instagram-able’, will certainly draw customers in, allowing them to post images of themselves at the hottest retail locations.
Retail is going to get very interesting next year. As wages rise, hopefully consumers will be returning to stores with the lure of a better experience, improved aesthetics and a more seamless online-offline experience.