According to an article on Smart Company (Australia), 2017 will be the year where customer experience becomes a tangible reality, with a focus on in-store experiences and more personalisation.
Here are five trends to watch for retailers:
1. “Retailtainment” will take off
This is the fusion of retail and entertainment — making the in-store shopping experience enjoyable, entertaining, and encouraging shoppers to step away from online browsing at home and into the shops instead.
2. Personalisation will become increasingly important
According to an Accenture Interactive study, 56% of consumers are more likely to shop with a retailer that recognises them by name. Personalisation in retail has been around for years but unfortunately, the tactics retailers once used to speak directly to customers (such as using first names in an email) have become outdated and transparent in the eyes of customers.
3. Smaller shops are in, larger shops are out
When it comes to store size, less is more in 2017. Retail giants such as Target, Kmart and Priceline are investing in smaller-format stores to provide more curated selections, and smaller stores also cost less money to open and operate. They also take up less space in urban environments, allowing retailers to capitalise on the potential of high-density areas and foot-traffic.
4. Specialty stores will be more popular than department stores
Look for specialty stores to win in the coming year. These niche retailers tend to provide better in-store experiences for their customers, with more knowledgeable staff, better prices, and more personalised service.
5. Retailers that promote product quality and sustainability will flourish
Customers today want to know more about the goods they’re purchasing – where they’ve come from and how they’ve been sourced and produced. The proliferation of transparent, sustainably conscious companies has initiated a radical shift in the retail industry — one we can expect to gain greater traction in 2017. Shoppers are gravitating toward retailers that reveal the inner workings of their operations.