As Christmas approaches, we’ll all, no doubt, be spending more than usual, both online and on the high street, and retailers will be competing to offer attractive promotions and desirable shopping experiences to attract a larger proportion of consumer spend.
According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales are already seeing reasonable year-on-year growth in 2017, although rates vary across categories. But what other trends will we see in the retail sector in the coming months and years?
Consumers increasingly want to merge their online and offline shopping experiences and are using their smartphones and devices while in store to check stock, competitor pricing and customer reviews before buying. This is a trend which is set to continue and grow as the savvy shopper looks for the best buys. We will also start to see more and more cash registers replaced by tablets and other devices as a way of speeding up the point-of-sale process.
A Joined-up Experience
The total mobility concept will be taken further to create a joined-up experience for shoppers in store by adding additional functionality to online sites and apps. It’s not inconceivable that, in the future, promotional messages will be pushed to you as you enter a store. You will be able to check stock levels and where a product is in the store and even request additional size and colour options from the changing room – all with your smartphone.
Good Things Come in Small Packages
In an attempt to completely differentiate themselves from online retailers, more and more smaller shops are appearing, and this trend is set to continue with both small independents and large chains taking up the concept.
High street shops also have other opportunities to differentiate themselves by creating an appropriate mood in the store using, for example, in store music provided by companies such as https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-media/.
The Rise of Generation Y
Generation Y – those born in either the eighties or nineties – now form the largest group of consumers in the market, and successful retailers will need to understand how they think, buy and communicate to successfully sell to this group. It’s predicted that this demographic will no longer be automatically loyal to big brands – they will prefer those they see as having similar values and ethics to themselves.