With rapid advancements in technology, retail in 2018 has perhaps felt more of a shake-up than any other year to date. With online retailers buying physical shops, the rise of market places and pop up stores, the growth of mobile shopping and retail technology enhancing in-store experiences, one thing is certain in a world of uncertainty – nothing in the sector is standing still. Here are 3 key key themes for 2019 to keep you moving in the right direction.
Forget Omni Channel, it’s all about Omni Presence
When customers are thinking about buying something, they don’t consciously think about whether they will opt for online or offline, for them every retailer’s carefully planned shopping channel is simply ‘shopping’ and they reach for the most convenient way to find what they want. In 2019, retailers need to stop thinking in a lineal form and be present everywhere, spanning digital and physical touch points for customers to effortlessly glide across as they please. It’s no longer important where the transaction takes place, as long as it remains within the brand’s ecosystem.
Machine Learning will take User Experience to the Next Level
As online shopping becomes more and more prevalent, we can expect websites to become more and more sophisticated, echoing the likes of Facebook and serving up a unique experience for each and every user. Sooner or later, we might only be shown clothing available in our size, from the brands which we like best and linked to upcoming events. Complex data software will allow retailers to see a 360-degree view of customers and their shopping behaviour.
As consumers become more and more informed of the world around them, they are shopping much more with their emotions than with their wallets. For Millenials, the corporate responsibility policy, social impact and environmental factors are hugely important. This means brands need to cultivate the right internal culture built around meaningful visions and values before heading out into the real world to make a positive impact on the cultures where they set up shop.