As 2020 approaches, it is a good time to reflect on the changes retail has experienced over the last decade and how they have influenced the vision of a successful retail environment in the new decade.
Brick and Mortar is Back
The retail apocalypse is nearing its end, giving brick-and-mortar the opportunity to make the comeback of a lifetime—surprisingly, Millennials and Gen Z are to thank for this movement. Retail locations are finding new footing and a new role in 2020, and that is because 43% of both Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to do in-store shopping opposed to only 29% of Gen X. It seems odd that the generations who are conditioned to constantly accessible technology, are practically glued to their phones, and have never turned to a leather-bound encyclopedia before consulting Wikipedia, would prefer in-store experiences over online shopping. That’s just it—it’s the interaction they crave and authentic experiences that can only be had in person.
In true Millennial and Gen Z fashion, they desire a personalised shopping experience catered to them, in fact, a staggering 63% of Millennials note that they will actually spend more on a product if it comes with a personalised experience. For stores, curating truly unique atmospheres that need to be experienced in the physical realm will be the differentiating factor between flourishing brick-and-mortar retailers and the rest of the competition. With these generations making a significant dent in the buying power of today’s consumers, brick-and-mortar will need to deliver on the desire for immersive experiences (like using augmented reality to digitally transform a physical location) or truly perish.
Data is Do or Die
From leveraging consumer insights that drive personalisation, to implementing leaner inventory practices that make time for employees to provide out-of-this world customer experiences, data driven retail will be do or die in 2020.
Retailers who continue to silo data as a result of multiple storage or collection methods will become irrelevant. The importance of centralized data analyzed strategically will be the foundation that supports every other trend, including our next point.
Data will Drive Personalisation in the Customer Experience
With the goal of cultivating a more personalised retail environment, retailers can tap into the abundance of data available about their consumers. Social media influence and social shopping and retail are even more intertwined now than ever before. Online activity provides the data insights into preferences, buying habits, and interests of consumers—driving personalisation in the retail sector moving into 2020 and beyond.
The tactical use of this data makes creating personalised promotions easier than ever—an excellent tool to target retail customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Customising relevant data points with targeted deals and offers generates more profitable purchases leading to more revenue for the retailer.
Consumers Are Over 2-Day Delivery
Your consumers are on the go—and they take their devices wherever they travel—which means they have access to your products at the press of a button. But without the ability for consumers to flip instantly and effortlessly between shopping channels, you’ll lose out to retailers who do provide these abilities.
This also means that consumers want to skip the long lines for checkout. Optimize your physical location with the ability for consumers to checkout through mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices or kiosks that arm your floor staff with the tools that allow your customers to pay for product without having to wait in a long line that ends at a stationery terminal.
Integrated Omnichannel Retail Gets Crowned King
The 2020 retail trends are moving toward putting the consumer more in control of their retail choices and behavior. Which opens the door for Retail 4.0—the “new retail”— a hybrid approach between physical and digital retail that relies on consumer data for a more customer-centric experience throughout the supply chain. Retailers that employ a fully integrated approach for their business technology systems are outpacing non-integrators due to improved data access. The backbone of this approach is managed application infrastructure and is the only way to successfully move into the future of retail.
Integrated omnichannel retail breaks barriers between customers and their purchase mode using multiple touch points for a single purchase. The result is improved customer engagement by providing a consistent shopping experience across channels. Adopting this approach can improve data accuracy by as much as 95% and streamlines the processes on the backend to seamlessly transition them on the front end, providing a better customer experience, with multiple paths to purchase.
Looking ahead, with 20/20 vision, it’s clear that data will be the key to streamlining processes and cutting away retail excess, while leading to heightened success in 2020 and beyond.