Elkstone Real Estate Article
22 Retail Industry Predictions For Brick-And-Mortar Stores In 2018
With the National Retail Federation (NRF) in New York this week, retailers and industry leaders have been sharing, exploring and debating the opportunities and challenges that the industry will need to embrace for retail stores in the year ahead. From low-inventory propositions to weather data and hands-free shopping to smarter in-store fulfillment, there are a plethora of solutions, technologies and platforms that retailers can utilize to win in 2018. Whilst stores will always be key to retailer strategy, the format, feel and function of those stores will be evolving this year to meet the growing demands of the ever-changing customers.
Working with leading retailers like Sephora, Dyson and Walmart among others, the solution and technology providers that are leading the charge in helping retailers succeed in an increasingly competitive market offer up these predictions for what the retail industry can expect to see for brick and mortar in 2018:
Customer Experience “As Amazon continues to eat up more real estate in our lives, from our homes to the local Whole Foods and beyond, companies are going to become much more aggressive and interesting about how they differentiate themselves, leading to even more disruption but also more delight in customer experience.” – Tomer Tagrin, Cofounder and CEO, Yotpo.
Multi-Channel at Scale “In retail, the focus will be on connecting the online and offline – attribution, personalization and targeting as customers cross between the two has always thrown up issues for retail brands. 2018 is the year that they will start to connect the two at scale, and with precision.” – Rune Bromer, CEO, Tamoco.
Fluid Shopping “The lines between shopping channels (brick-and-mortar, online, mobile, virtual) will continue to blur together even more as consumers embrace more fluid ways of shopping in 2018, such as ordering groceries to their doorstep or to lockers at the front of the store for easy pickup, flipping through catalogues using VR headsets and streamlining their shopping process through voice-recognition devices and connected households to save time and stay organised.” Mark Hardy, CEO of InContext Solutions.
In-Store Personalisation “Companies that have the capabilities to understand each consumer intimately — their past purchases, when they shop — will be able to create more personalized shopping experiences. Equipping sales associates with the power to see both in-store and e-commerce data, will help revolutionize retail.” Sam Kliger, CEO and Founder, KWI.
Personalised Experiences “In 2018, customers will increasingly expect to be known, understood, and respected by the brands they love, which means they will punish retailers for disconnected or jarring experiences where their mobile app or email preferences does not directly translate to in-store interactions.” – Sam Weber, Chief Revenue Officer, Amplero.
RFID, Beacons and Self-Checkout “The world of retail is ever-changing and rapidly evolving. Technology is removing the barriers that has limited retailers from connecting and building loyal, personal relationships across different platforms and channels. We’re going to continue seeing disruption and transformation across retail. To further engage and create a better experience for both customers and employees, retailers will be evaluating and implementing several other technologies. This includes RFID, beacons, biometric security, self-checkout, digital signage, same-day delivery, flexible pick-up and return, loyalty programs to name a few. Alibaba has already taken a step towards this by demonstrating face recognition at a cashier-less concept cafe.”- Jeff Scott, CEO, Infinite Peripherals.
Video Commerce “We believe 2018 will be a pivotal year for retail and ecommerce businesses, as they adopt live video shopping technology to solve many of the immediate challenges that they face. Whether its omnichannel retailers looking to maximise the profitability of their stores and staff or ecommerce businesses moving into the high street, live video commerce will enable them to utilize their existing assets to reach and convert a wider audience.” – Aman Khurana, Co-founder, GoInStore.
Reducing Shipping Costs “Omnichannel retailers will aggressively promote buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) as not only a way to reduce shipping costs and drive people in-stores, but also to compete with Amazon and satisfy the immediacy for the customer.” – Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst, Bronto Software.
In-Store Returns “Retailers will take a close look at how stores can become a core component of the returns process and will look to amplify the omnichannel experience by helping consumers to return online purchases in-store and vice versa.” – Patrick Eve, Managing Director, ZigZag Global.
Experience, Experience, Experience “In 2018, retailers will invest more resources in experiential shopping, with the understanding that the role of stores is shifting away from pure product distribution, to a much more experience-centric model.” Marc Gingras, CEO, Foko Retail.
In-Store Marketing “Rewards-based marketing will change the model for in-store marketing through “shelf-talkers” encouraging consumers to post about a product and receive rewards or discounts that can be used immediately in-store.” Herman DeBoard, CMO, Grabbr.
In-Store Activations “Retail will start to utilize influencers even more in-store in 2018.” Thomas Walters, Co-Founder & Head of Client Services, Billion Dollar Boy.
Indoor Analytics “Retailers will begin to rely heavily on big-data and indoor analytics to drive business decisions, optimise operations, and increase engagement.” Chris Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO, Jibestream. Corey Tollefson, senior vice president and general manager of retail at Infor predicts RFID technology will alter the way the way retailers understand customer behaviour in-store. “RFID technology is becoming much more affordable and accessible to retailers and it will completely alter the way they do business. For example, they will able to provide data on how customers move around the store, how fitting rooms influence whether or not customers make purchases, and preferences customers have between two similar products.”
Weather Data “Retailers will begin using weather data to leverage weather-driven micro-moments to improve the customer experience, build customer trust, create brand awareness and drive sales.” Alex Kubicek, Founder & CEO, Understory.
Multiple Seasons “The seasonal approach is out – faster supply chains have allowed retailers to rethink seasonality as 52 seasons instead two or four. This means you can deliver new batches of products to stores every week, giving consumers a reason to come back.” – Bob D’Loren, Chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands.
New Low Inventory Propositions “In 2018, we’ll see more big box stores like Target and Nordstrom launch small format stores instead of one-stop shops – they’re getting smarter about what people are buying in-store versus online, and creating smaller stores with less inventory, carrying more product specific to their local consumers.” – Olivia Skuza, co-founder and CEO, NuORDER.
Reducing Inventory “We will see the rise of more experiential stores that will be used to try out products, but won’t carry mountains of inventory, in an effort to truly deliver on the omnichannel promises being made to consumers.” – Chris Shaw, Director of Product Marketing, Manhattan Associates.
Sales Associates “Brick-and-mortar stores are becoming a touchpoint of the shopping experience, not the end destination for a purchase, so employees will continuously need to be educated on how to help customers digitally as well as in the store.” – Ashik Ahmed, Founder and CEO, Deputy.
Concierge-Style Services “Sales associates will start to leverage data that empowers them with individual shopper insights, in order to move toward offering true concierge-style services, such as shopper recognition and service based on historical behaviors.” – Keith Sherry, COO, SATO Global Solutions.
Local In-Store Experiences ANYWHERE “In 2018, customers will be able to step inside and shop at top local boutiques around the world from the comfort of their own homes with VR/AR.” Robert Boukine, Co-Founder, Noibu.
Pay Later “The e-commerce industry has significantly evolved in 2017 with diverse payment options that let customers try now and pay later, or pay in installments growing in popularity. In-store needs to match the experience offered online, and it’s likely that in 2018 we’ll see retailers going back to basics and focusing on their bricks-and-mortar strategy to deliver a frictionless shopping – and paying – experience in-store. This means giving customers more choice in how they shop and pay, and offering options such as self-service, higher threshold contactless payments and offline versions of pay later.” – Luke Griffiths, GM, Klarna.
CPG Retailers “Consumer packaged goods (CPGs) see the writing on the wall and will start opening stores and offering customer experiences at a greater clip. Imagine Tide-branded laundromats, Aveeno day spas, a Ruffles sports bar or Dannon-backed smoothie cafes. Think about this. You can build a powerful company as a CPG but will you be an Amazon or Walmart? Not ever. In 2018, watch for CPGs to cut out the middleman, and interact directly with customers. It’s not only about taking a bigger piece of the pie – although that’s a bonus – as much as it’s an opportunity to market directly to consumers. It’s the modern billboard: experiential, engaging, and hands-on.” Brent Franson, CEO, Euclid.
Source: Forbes January 18, 2018