Shopping trends are never going to be as it was in last few years anymore. Pacing up of technology as well as the changes in shoppers trends are going to bring out dramatic changes in shopping pattern of the year ahead.
In a more digitalized world, the shopping experience has become really different. Shopping is no more getting into the store, buying the product that you see there and paying for it. In modern era, it is a set of processes including pre-store researches, comparisons, selecting the best in terms of quality and quantity, learning offers and finally owning the product. In the past years, if it was retailers who determined shopping trends, now it is the customers who shape the trends of retail. As it is the time retail kings have realised a change from traditional methods a necessity for success, wide acceptance of new ideas are expected.
As per business experts, 2017 was the year of digital discovery. They predict 2018 to be a year witnessing more integration of technology into retail. Omni- channel trade is also expected to enter into the mainstream.
Personalisation is important
Personalisation helps to place a brand in the front row among the competitors. More personalised system will make shopping more exciting. Rather than sending messages addressing individual customers, it is expected to develop to an extend that it allows customers to build customized product of their wish.
Advent Technologies can make an explosion
Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality are other game changers. Robots have entered into the scene. They have found out their own space in Brick and Mortar stores. In 2017, 20% of the fulfillment stores were equipped with robots. Robots, when they enter into the online retail sector, get turned into chatbots. They assist the online business by giving instant reply to the queries made by the customers, which is really important. Millennials who have highly adopted chat culture find the service of the chatbots extremely useful. Chatbots have a good role even in the decision making process of the customers.
AR (Augmented Reality) is expected to get even developed in 2018.It is going to change the way retailers create, showcase and sell its products. Its development can make a boom in retail sector.
Another area which is going to be more popular in the year ahead is payment options provided by retailers. Mobile payment option- the click and collect culture- is increasingly spreading among the costumers.
Social media- another platform
Social media is another platform that determines future of retail business. Millenials spend a lion share of their day scrolling up in social media. This trend has a great influence in shaping their shopping patterns. In fact, social media can make an explosion in opportunities for retailers. Rather than simply posting pictures of products, retailers shall identify various possibilities offered by these sites. Each social media platform is unique and each offer unique opportunities. To make maximum utilisation out of it is important.
Retailers must choose the right social media platform, connect with prospectus and build relationship with clients. Maintaining those relationships and engaging in conversation with them can make better results.
Increasing innovations in technology with more customers shifting into the mobile commerce has brought up a common believe that Brick-and-Mortar stores are on the verge of extinction. But reality proves to be opposite. Beyond traditional stores, more innovative Brick and Mortar stores are expected to come up in 2018. As per the statistics, 2.7 new stores were opened for each closed stores.
More diversified stores are expected to come up in 2018. Stores with their size and contents fitting to the location offering assortments are expected to be successful. Modern customers need more choice. Stores offering more choice will always be their preference.
In home services
In home services are expected to increase in the year ahead. With same day delivery offered, retailers are expected to improve in home services. The on demand delivery is expected to be extended beyond food delivery. Also, many online retailers are experimenting by sending their staffs into the customers’ home to consult and recommend their products.
QR Codes make a return
As the QR code scanners are being implemented in recent mobile devices, the QR culture is expected to return. Many are depending on QR codes to drive their content marketing and social media initiatives. In some cases, scanning QR codes will take the customers into specific pages where they can find inspiring images and demonstration of the product in their mobile devices. This can make a huge impact on customer decisions.
In addition to above, experiential shopping trends are going to bring more changes in the retail sector. This can attract more customers as they get a genuine and detailed idea of the product they are going to own. Retailers must ensure these facilities offer real value to the customers.
In fact, evolving to fit the customer requirements is more important. Having an interest to adapt with customer expectation, advent technology and trends guide to success. Success is all about providing more satisfied shopping experience to the customers. As long as the retailers create a mind refreshing shopping experience, customers keep on visiting them frequently. This itself can lead retailers to success.
Having knowledge about the upcoming changes and improvements in the shopping trends is important while stepping into a new year. Retailers should keenly observe the ongoing trends and learn to adapt accordingly. This clearly helps them to improve in store experience and to provide better shopping experience to the customers.