Retail is one of the most important sectors that shape the economy. However, the rise of e-commerce and advanced technology has changed the way retail businesses used to operate. To stay up to date in the market, businesses should be aware of certain potential trends and strategies. In this article, we will show you some predictions of future retail to expect for years to come.
Brick-and-mortar stores will be restructured
While the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the rise of e-commerce, there will always be a place for physical stores. However, retailers would need to reconsider how they set up their physical locations as shoppers increasingly expect a more personalized shopping experience similar to online shopping.
Consumers today want more than just a place to shop. They want a place to experience the brand and see the items in person. For instance, mattress company Caster moved from e-commerce to offline stores when it opened an experiential store in New York where shoppers could reserve a nap pod to rest and test the quality of mattresses.
Retail business ideas such as having pop-up shops featuring exclusive merchandise with unique experiences or offering Click-and-Collect service (buy online, pick up in-store) for customers’ convenience are also great ways to attract customers and boost sales.
The personalized shopping experience will increase
Another future retail trend that is worth noticing is the demand for a personalized shopping experience. Traditional approaches in retail like strategic pricing and promotions are not as effective as they once were, as competitors can easily mimic them. But differentiation is still possible through personalized approaches in which retailers create unique experiences tailored to each customer.
In order to maintain customer loyalty, retail businesses should get to know more about their consumers’ purchasing behavior using analytics tools such as Google Analytics. It helps you collect valuable data about your customers, for example: the number of people visiting your website, which products sell the best, what drives your customers to purchase an item, etc. By doing this, you will be able to have a better understanding of your shoppers and then recommend relevant products or services.
Businesses will need tech upgrades
Though most people are still working from home, that isn’t a great option for retailers that rely on footfall. Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software, believes that businesses will need to consider emerging technologies to help them manage staff better. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, advanced technologies are essential for merchants to support their growing requirements as well as evolve with their business. Eventually, this helps save money and improve the experience of the business’s employees.
Smart supply chains will be in high demand
Smart supply chains are among the leading future retail ideas for retailers to leverage their operations. According to MarketsandMarkets, spending on AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the supply chain is expected to reach over $10 million by 2025. Nowadays, there are multiple integrated inventory management systems, but these often result in huge amounts of waste. By using data and AI, we will be able to predict stock requirements, thereby limiting wastage and reducing the impact on the environment. Furthermore, smart supply chains applied AI will result in a direct benefit to the whole environment as follows:
- Optimize speed and accuracy throughout the supply chain
- Reduce operational costs
- Keep the inventory accurate, ensure the appropriate flow of items in and out of the warehouse
- Keep complete records and analyze data against a customer’s requirements
- Better customer service (i.e. AI-powered chatbots)
As time goes by, we are sure to see some significant changes in future retail. Those who are able to differentiate themselves among the crowds will continue to survive and thrive.
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