Was 2017 the retail apocalypse? Some of the biggest retail stores were found closing stores around the country in 2017. Sears, JCPenney, and Macy’s are a few industry leaders who shut down stores in major areas. The results of 2017 have left people hopeful for beneficial outcomes in 2018. Here are some predictions that people have for the retail industry in 2018.
Technology has played an integral part in the way customers interact with retail stores. In 2017, many of the problems that arose with major industry leaders were that customers were shopping more online than in a store. The changing market trends in 2017 have proven that retail stores need to be able to adapt to the market and customer needs.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to play a significant role in retail for 2018. AI is starting to be used to gather information about customers to understand their needs and expectations better. AI can be utilized for post-sale customer service interactions and even manufacturing. In 2018, retailers should look to invest in AI practices to better serve their customer base.
Now, with more and more consumers shopping online for their retail needs, physical retail stores will need to amp up incentives to get customers in. Shopping online is not only convenient for customers but also offers lower prices than in-store purchases. In-store discounts are a great strategy to get customers into stores.
Small shop experiences are the next big thing in retail. Customers crave a unique shopping experience online and in store. Larger retail companies should look to personalize their customer experiences to encourage shoppers to visit their stores. The customer experience may even require some experimental marketing to achieve the personal experience customers want.
Consumers today demand quick and efficient service. Amazon has dominated the retail business for some time and offers options for same day delivery. Retailers should offer an easy way for in-store pickup and research ways for quick delivery. This trend is not new and does not necessarily entail a personalized experience, but it is a key point in creating loyal relationships with customers. In 2018 you may see stores re-construct their front of the store to fit these new and aggressive logistic needs. Stores could offer a drive-through pick-up option or a more inviting storefront to draw in customers with the same day pick-up/delivery option. The easier it is for a customer to receive their purchases at the physical store the better.
Originally posted on: franklobue.com