A new year asks for fresh ideas and inspiration to reinvent yourself and your business. Because consumer habits shift rapidly and it’s a matter of reacting fast and to the right retail trends. That’s all possible with fancy VR, AI or digital tools,… or just go for a creative and cheaper way to boost your customer experience.
Are you still on the lookout for retail trends to upgrade your retail business experience? Here you’ll find some inspiration to help you match the expectations of your future customer!
The power of social media
It may be old news, but more than ever social media has a direct influence on the purchase behavior of consumers. A study indicated that a staggering 72 % of millennials has already bought fashion items based on Instagram feed. Being present on social media, regularly sharing content and engaging with your audience,… it’s an integral part of any fashion business today. Only sufficient interaction and engagement will help you create trust and build a longlasting relationship with your customer.
On Instagram and facebook, customers immediately see what you have to offer, meaning you don’t always have to offer your products on a webshop. With a personal message, customers can ask you to reserve an item in-store or to ship it to their home address. It can be simple as that!
Ask customers their opinion or add a rating element to your instagram stories so they can score your brand or collection with an easy click.
Tablets add a new dimension
A store visit has to be pleasant and smooth. That’s why today several stores today work with tablets on location. It allows them to add an extra dimension to the retail experience. As a retailer, you can easily look up additional info for the customer, or customers can scroll through the whole offering at their own pace. Next, they can select the products they’d like to try on or have a look at. Shop assistants can then bring everything to the fitting room and help customers quickly find what they’re looking for. Another advantage with tablets, is that customers can easily order products that are not (or no longer) in stock. If, finally, you give your customer the option to pick them up in-store or have them delivered at home, your story is complete.
Unique concept stores
Shopping experience is the ultimate USP for physical stores, especially in the future! Winkelbeleving is voor fysieke winkels hét onderscheidend element bij uitstek! Concept stores are more present than ever, which is a creative challenge for each traditional retailer. Take for example Everlane in LA and New York, a fashion retailer that started online and now opens new concept stores with minimal design and lots of tech elements. It’s things like the ‘Save my spot’-feature, to reserve items which are then brought to a fitting room for you, that create a seamless flow. You receive a text message when everything’s ready for you to try on. That’s how they take the omnichannel experience to a whole new level.
Alternative payment options
Recently, alternative payment options have become more and more popular, ranging from online payment tools to mobile applications via digital platforms.
Studies show that the use of alternative payment options in Europe will soon amount to 20 percent. In addition, 50 percent of consumers considers cancelling their order if their desired payment option is not available. Therefore, it’s important to take into account the preferences of your customers, also when it comes to payment options!
Many customers choose to order products with the option to pay later, after they have been delivered and when they decide whether or not to keep the product. The ‘try before you buy’ or ‘order now, pay later’ option will only win territory in the future, especially for fashion items.
Based on the location of your potential customers, you can send targeted push messages. When they approach your store, you can give information on special offerings or available promotions. Looking at historic purchasing behaviour of your customer, you can make the message as personal and relevant as possible. Just make sure you pay attention to applicable GDPR rules. Also, not everyone’s a big fan of push messages, so double check your target audience and tackle their needs. There are several players who can offer push messages, one a bit more expensive than the other.
With virtual mannequins, you can even go a step further. This innovative retail technology shows the fashion item picked by the customer on a virtual mannequin. It allows customers to immediately see how the item fits them, without really having to try things on in a fitting room. You can easily “try” different fashion pieces and the store assistants does not have to run back and forth between clothing racks. With a touch option, the customer can quickly scroll the store’s catalogue to find further inspiration. An excellent way to create new upselling opportunities.
It’s clear today that tomorrow’s customer has a busy social life and only little time after working hours. Therefore, when it comes to shopping, the customer wants to enjoy a seamless shopping flow. That means easy shipping and pickup options, fast and alternative payment options, and a dazzling shopping experience.
Are you following the latest retail trends?
What’s your favorite retail trend as a retailer?
Do you already have experience with one of these retail trends and technologies?
We are curious to also know your ideas and how you see your future as a retailer!
Let us know!