The Future of Retail

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If you’re wondering what are the newest trends all set to take over the Retail Industry, read on! We have compiled the top trends that we think will have a big impact on the industry in the near future:

Brick and Mortar stores will flourish.

Despite predictions depicting store closures and the death of retail stores, they are expanding. The Brick and Mortar store format is pretty much existent and from the looks of it, will continue to do so. What may happen is that the ‘traditional’ store formats may see a decline. In the coming times, stores may shift roles, transforming themselves to integrate both the online and offline. What this means is that we will see around us more than just a few stores fitting into the new ‘click and collect’ role – wherein customers can buy something online and then pick it up from the physical store. For example, Amazon Go (currently available in Washington, USA) is being touted as the new-age Brick and Mortar store. It allows customers to cut the checkout line with a smartphone app using the next-generation, AI driven ‘Just Walk Out’ technology – customers activate their app when they enter the store, choose their purchases and it gets charged to their Amazon account when they leave. It is that simple! This also brings us to-date with another emerging retail trend of increased reliance on AI and robots. According to a report, similar to Amazon, Microsoft too is stepping up its AI game to integrate in its retail space.

Today, in-store experiences have become more important than ever. Customers want to come to a store to do more than just ‘buy stuff’; they want to get good ‘social experiences’. This is leading retailers to rethink and consider creating highly experiential retail spaces that may or may not hold inventory. These would serve as shops for people to discover great products, socialize and basically get unparalleled retail experiences. Improved in-store-experiences offering great experiences are the future of retail.

Considering modern consumers are placing their bets on experiences as much as, if not more than the products they purchase, it is only fitting that personalization continues to be a key retail trend this year and beyond. When we say ‘personalization’, it doesn’t mean merely writing an email addressed with the customers’ name or putting their initials on a product. Personalization Redefined is shoppers looking at products that they can build and customize to their taste and requirement right down to the very last detail. Shoppers today want to invest their time, energy and money into products that are unique, tell their story and fit their lifestyles. Imagine, if retailers can manage to tap into this customer need, it will and turn shopping into something so much more exciting! There are few things in shopping more exciting than building your own buy, be it a bag, watch, eyewear or something else. Case in point, Australian eyewear brand, Dresden’s eyewear offering. The company takes discarded waste from Australian beaches and upcycles it to create affordable frames. Shoppers get the freedom to create their own pair of sunglasses, by exercising their creativity, mixing and matching colours and shapes to create the frames and lenses of their choice. The result is unique eyewear that is custom-made for the shoppers, by the shoppers. Talk about of next-level personalization!

These are just some of the retail trends for the year but one thing that is clear is, retailers need to constantly reinvent themselves to continue thriving in this dynamic market. Remaining stagnant is simply not an option.


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