Retail Trends & Technology
Though many merchandising solutions are considered timeless and will never go out of style, there are plenty of new retail trends and technologies that can help business owners drive traffic, increase sales and realize a brand new level of success. SPAR is researching some of these new technologies and highlighted some below.
One of the primary trends nowadays is the ability for consumers to do things in their own time as well as in their own ways. As such, there are many retail outlets that are turning to Omni-channel merchandising solutions that will allow individuals to handle shopping, purchasing and even pick-ups via multiple outlets. As an example, retailers may allow their customers to shop via the internet, pay for their purchases over the phone or on-line, and pick up their merchandise at a brick-and-mortar location. Similarly, providing support via several means – such as email, telephone or even live web chat – makes things simpler for the customers.
No More One-Size-Fits-All Shopping Experiences
Some of the new retail technologies available are simply astounding. While many businesses are still sending out monthly newsletters via email and perhaps even push messages through a mobile application, these one-size-fits-all experiences will soon become a thing of the past. New merchandising solutions will allow retailers to send personalized messages to individuals’ mobile devices as they are shopping based upon where they are currently located in the store. For instance, if someone is shopping in the beauty section, a notification could alert them to bargains or new products in that department immediately.
POP displays have always been one of the main ways to attract customers while trying to enhance the shopping experience. However, the days of plain-Jane displays will soon come to an end. Retailers and manufacturers like Burberry and Make Up For Ever have integrated iPads into stores as an alternative to POP displays so that customers can just walk in and pick up a tablet. Burberry goes so far as to allow individuals to purchase items they have just seen in fashion shows, while Make Up For Ever allows its users to create ‘virtual’ makeovers on the screen via a series of integrated applications.
Speed in All Things
Consumers want what they want – and they want it now. As such, many of the merchandising solutions that were new in 2014 are aimed toward streamlining the ordering, purchasing, shipping and delivery process to make it as fast as possible.
While some of these merchandising solutions may not be available until well into the future, SPAR is keeping an eye on them as a critical for understanding and for their implementation down the road.