Trends come and go so quickly, it can leave your head spinning, trying to work out what is in and what is out. So if you want to be on-trend, all the time, you should always look forward, and check predictions and forecasts.
So what trends are the ones to watch in 2020?
There is rarely a year where Technology isn’t making waves. Technology has had a huge impact on the retail industry, and almost everything is online – one way or another. With more consumers shopping online, it has pushed many retailers to take their business online to keep up.
But it doesn’t stop there. Stores are looking at ways to increase the user experience. Some beauty stores now have a virtual try-on system where people can try different hair colours or lipsticks before making a purchase.
Another great example of tech usage is Adidas. They implemented a virtual changing rooms system. Customers can request different sizes and colours. The Bring It To Me feature uses in-store geolocation to give the customer a seamless experience.
And it isn’t just clothing and beauty, Sainsbury’s implemented a till-free store too.
Every business knows that the key to loyalty is expectation, customer service, trust and perks. It is well documented that customers are likely to choose between retailers depending on what their current offers are.
Loyalty schemes have been around in the form of points cards, discounts and deals for years.
Sales in previous years have been thought to see an increased spend and footfall. However, when Black Friday is put under the microscope – it pulls Christmas sales forward, lowers profit margins and leaves retailers with a tough decision. Compete or concede to competitors.
Rather than compete in terms of sales, 2020 will be the year of the diverse payment options. Making the consumer more in control of their experience and more likely to return. Customer satisfaction is big news.
A huge leap forward has been in sustainability, and there is room to improve. Many stores are reducing plastic usage and making strides to reduce their carbon footprint too.
So what more can be done? Well, this could be the year we see retailers use environmentally friendly products and introduce decomposable products too. Consumers are very keen on making sure that they are buying from companies that are taking action on environmental issues. From food waste to carbon footprint, there is likely to be a shift in where people spend their money and why.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield recently released its How We Shop report which goes into detail about something that might just be the most significant retail trend thus far.
Consumers want to do more than just buy something. The experience, the process and the purchase should all be something that they enjoy. The Body Shop is already on the trend by offering a dedicated activism corner in their London Bond Street store. Customers can learn and refill at the same time. This also further highlights the importance of investing into a merchandising company to further understand the why behind the store visits of core consumers.
The high street needs to compete and redefine what it does and how it does it. Meaning that experiences are going to play a big part in why people will choose a brick and mortar store over a virtual experience.