Retail is changing rapidly thanks to emerging technology and increasingly pressing customer expectations. Feel like you’re falling behind? Read on to catch up with all the latest trends!
Today you will learn:
- How personalisation is changing the way customers shop
- how to draw customers away from online stores by enhancing in-store experience
- How to meet customer delivery expectations
- How to flourish as a transparent and sustainable brand
- Understanding how your customer think using neuroscience
You can buy anything your heart desires online, if you have the time and energy to search for hours. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go to just one place to get exactly what you want? That’s the magic of personalisation- take a product you like and make it your own.
[Tweet “In 2017 personalisation it will become a customer expectation, rather than an added bonus.”]
Australian company Mon Purse are real trailblazers in the field of personalisation, creating a company that allows women from all around the world to design their very own handbags because “If kids can build their own bears and men can customise their own Nikes, why can’t women design their own bags?” says founder Lana Hopkins.
Mon Purse can personalise anything from leather type, colour, metal hardware, bag style and monogram text. You can create the bag you want and not just the bag a designer wants you to want.
With online retailers expanding their shipping and convenience capabilities bricks and mortar stores are struggling to stay relevant. The question bricks and mortar retailers need to be asking themselves is, ‘What does my store offer that will make customer get out of their PJ’s and leave the house?” George Ritzer coined the term ‘Retailtainment’, which describes the “use of ambience, emotion, sound and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in a mood to buy.’ It’s about finding what entertains your audience and fusing that within the shopping environment. For example, Glue Store will often hire DJ’s to spin beats at their sales events or Peter Alexander uses some clever scent
It’s about finding what entertains your audience and fusing that with the shopping environment. For example, Glue Store will often hire DJ’s to spin beats at their sales events or Peter Alexander uses some clever scent marketing to make their stores smell delish. In-store experience is all about evoking your customer’s different senses and encouraging them to stay in-store longer which increases the chance of a sale.
Online retailer Amazon has already begun to revolutionise the in-store shopping experience by offering a check-out free shopping experience. Amazon Go is a grocery store in America that allows customers to scan into the store using their smartphone, put items into their car as usual and then leave the store without ever having to wait in line for the checkout. By using emerging technology they have made the in-store experience more efficient and exciting than your regular dreary supermarket shop.
This is a big one! When shopping online we expect our parcel to not only arrive promptly but, to be delivered in perfect condition and not cost us an arm and a leg. Statistics from Brinng show 61% of customers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery and shoppers spend 30% more when free shipping is provided. If you’re not smart about your delivery options in 2017 then you will be quickly replaced by a competitor that is.
Online retailer The Iconic really set the mark here. The website offers 3-hour delivery to customers located in major cities. They also offer free returns within 100 days of purchase, another big plus for time-constrained consumers who don’t have time to go to the shops to try on clothes.
Promote product quality, transparency & sustainability will flourish
For a while there mass produced clothing, furniture and technology was all the rage. Because quite simply mass produced = cheap to produce = cheap for the consumer. Mega department stores such as Ikea, Kmart and Target offered customers everyday essentials and luxury items with a small price tag. The issue with mass production is the fact that it often equals poor quality, and reduces the lifespan of the product. As we become more waste conscious, product quality and sustainability will be major factors in brand popularity.
When a brand is transparent about what going on behind the scenes they empower the customer to make more sustainable decisions when purchasing goods. A study by Nielson shows that 66% of global consumers will pay more for sustainable brands and for millennials this statistics rises to 73%.
Patagonia is a Canadian based outdoor clothing and accessory brand with the mission to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” They do their part by donating time, energy and 1% of all sales to grassroots environmental groups. But perhaps the most unique feature of the brand is they promote sustainability by encouraging clients to repair items before buying new. They operate the largest garment repair factory in North America.
“Owners are empowered to take responsibility for their purchases—from proper cleaning to repairing, reusing and sharing. Consumers take, make, dispose and repeat—a pattern that is driving us towards ecological bankruptcy,” Patagonia CEO, Rose Marcario.
Retail is a $300 billion market in Australia, a highly attractive number for companies working in the field of finance technology. In 2017 we can expect to see fintech make a real mark in the retail industry– revolutionising the way shoppers transact. We can forget about traditional layby services the real focus of fintech this year will be on buy now, pay later.
A strong player in the retail fintech industry is Australian based company Afterpay. Afterpay allows customers to buy now, pay later. Instead of paying the full price upfront customers can choose to pay in instalments making the shopping experience more accessible to people with budget constraints. Afterpay have grown significantly in just a couple years and now have most major Australian retailers using the service.
For years marketing has been about better understanding the customer, neuro-marketing takes that one step further. Neuromarketing applies the principles of neuroscience to marketing research, studying consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Consumers are aware of what they want in terms of product, size, colour, price range ect. but it is the unconscious desires that neuromarketing aims to target.
Areas of interest for neuro- marketer’s include:
- colour psychology: how colour affects our emotions
- scent marketing: how different scents in-store affect the way we shop
- predictive advertising
- gamification – the application of typical elements of game playing into the shopping experience
- psychological profiling
My advice to you is to look further into these trends and see what will work for your retail business. Retail is a highly competitive market and failure to adapt to change will mean your business will see zero progress. Don’t be afraid to try something new and focus your time and resources on innovation.