Despite what you’ve read in the news, retail is NOT DEAD. Not according to a recent study conducted by the National Retail Federation that found that recent sales figures were actually up 4.2% year-over-year. What you may be surprised to know is that the number of sales have actually increased every month this last year in 2017.
In fact, 42% of brands are opening stores around the nation which is contrary to what many may believe or have heard about stores rapidly closing, which is only about a 15% net decrease. On that note, 2017 actually saw a great number of new retail location openings, about 4,080. This number is only set to increase for 2018 with a projected 5,500 more retail location openings.
In order to maintain this incredible projection of retail openings, “retailers need to treat consumers like they genuinely value their time and their business,” according to Click2fit’s Chaya Cooper who like many believe that retail isn’t dead and it isn’t dying any time soon.
Below we’ll review a number of trends to take over retail for 2018 according to a number of experts within the industry.
We all know how important community is and even more importantly being apart of a community where you can truly feel like yourself. According to Shopify, a sense of community among your store and brand is “the most important prediction for 2018.” Consumers no longer fear the lack or availability of a product, but instead they worry more about the lack of genuine, human connection. It’s important to build a sense of community around your brand and your products, many brands do so by creating online communities where their consumers can engage with others to talk about their favorite products or exchange tips and tricks on how they use products.
Not many do it, but they all really should. Personalization of a product or service proves to be a big selling point for many consumers. For instance a number of subscriber-based services tailor the products sent to their consumers based on the products a consumer does or doesn’t like. The goal here is to find a way to either personalize the service being provided or better yet the product,doing so really adds a personal touch that the consumer can call their own. But you don’t have to get carried away with calculating an algorithm to personalize a service or product for someone. Instead offer something as small as in-store monogramming.
“Stores can’t just be about distributing products. They need to be about distributing experiences: less stores, more stories,” according to Doug Stephens at Business of Fashion’s VOICES and frankly he isn’t wrong. Creating a different than ordinary shopping experience is essential to keeping consumers engage and wanting more. Provide them a shopping experience they won’t forget, think out of the box because frankly, anyone can open a store and sell a product. But can you truly transform a mundane experience and turn it into something extraordinary?
Partnering with another brand especially one that participates in a different market is sure to create a truly unique product. Many consumer favorite brands have done it before, think Supreme and Louis Vuitton – their recent collaborations have fans in a frenzy trying to snatch the limited edition products.
For a full list of trends and to learn more, check out Shopify’s recent article, “Retail Trends: 6 Industry Experts Share Their 7 Predictions For 2018.”