Here at eXDP8, we like to try and stay ahead of the game. We are always looking at the main retail trends that might impact the industry and help us to stay current and innovative. Here is a list of seven retail trends that we expect to happen in 2019.
We saw a lot of collaboration in 2017 and 2018, and we foresee that there will be a few more in 2019. Most noticeable, Asda and Sainsbury’s announced their merger. The research group has revealed that a combination of these two giants would create a business with a 31.4% share of the UK grocery market. Along with this line, we foresee more mergers of companies in the form of partnerships and acquisitions within retail. At eXPD8 we understand the value of our relationships with our clients and will adapt when changes happen with our partners.
2. Technology and innovation
Mobile will be an essential driver of traffic, sales and engagement for retailers this year. We saw that in 2018 most hits on Black Friday were coming from smart devices, and it’s going to increase with technology advancement.
You might have heard of ‘Amazon Air’ where deliveries take to the sky with the use of drones. UK’s National Air Traffic Control Service has now changed their laws allowing drones to fly in larger areas… so future based films like Blade Runner 2049 could be a reality! eXPD8 accepts that changes will happen in the industry due to technology so we must strive to be adaptive and innovate to keep up with new technology , although, delivering POS to our merchandiser via drones might be unlikely for us.
3. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. was a huge trend in 2018 and is clearly here to stay. Outside of retail we’re already seeing that some people are happy to be diagnosed by an AI doctor, whereas in retail, it’s already happening without customers even realising. Web chats, Siri, Cortana and Alexa are already playing a massive part in consumers shopping journey and as it becomes more advanced it could change the industry by providing customers with their own 24-hour personal support.
4. Personalisation and Customisation
Personalisation to customer products is going to be increasingly crucial in 2019. As the retail industry becomes more competitive, consumers will want something different. Offering customers, the chance to build their own products, give brands the chance to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. We believe that companies will use Artificial Intelligence and data to give them an insight into what consumers want personalised and customised.
Here at Planet eXPD8, we understand that consumers want more for their money and personalisation will play a key factor in driving sales moving into the future.
Data’s role in retail decision-making will flourish,especially as technologies like Big Data and machine learning continue to mature. Progressive retailers will keep discovering contemporary ways to gather and control data in their sales and marketing requirements.
And that’s only the beginning. According to Forbes, a patent application from Walmart seems to indicate that the retailer proposes to use IoT (Internet of Things) tags “to monitor product usage, auto replaces products as necessary and monitor expiration dates or product recalls.” So we could see a large shift in personal adjustment. Check out our data analytics page for more info on insightful reporting and detailed retail data capture.
Payments will be a hot topic for retailers this year,particularly in the wake of a surge in popularity for contactless payments. Cryptocurrency could transform the way we pay for products if it keeps coming through like it so far… digital payments will be a foreground of merchandising products and ‘Crypto’ could path the way. It’ll be interesting to see what payment innovations retailers adopt over the coming months as they look to make the retail experience as easy and seamless as possible as payments seem to be driven by convenience.
7. Physical stores
Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the doom and gloom being reported in certain retail sectors (i.e. department stores), eXPD8 firmly believe that physical retail is alive and well. Traditional store formats maybe on the decline, but pioneering stores… the ones that offer great shopping experiences will continue to arise. Amazon may be set to bring its hi-tech till-free stores to the UK after registering the Amazon Go brand name in the UK. At the test store near Amazon’s HQ in Seattle, an app tracks customer as they walk about, recording the items they pick up and take away. We have also seen in November Sainsbury’s have opened a new concept superstore in Selly Oak that has lots of different departments. Within the ‘department like’ store in has Argos, Tu, Oasis and habitat showrooms where items are laid out in a room style setting similar to Ikea.
Thanks to the modern point of sale and retail management systems, it’s never been easier to open a retail business. Mobile applications and cloud-based solutions are enabling merchants to quickly set up stores with minimal investment. For this reason, we’ll be seeing more independent stores entering the market.