A site I often turn to for industry trends, Chain Store Age, produced a list of 2018 retail predictions that caught my eye. Here’s a snippet of their forecast.
1. Mobile’s only at the start of its booming role in retail
As an on-the-go extension of a store experience, mobile is a huge opportunity for retailers. While there have been plenty threats of “retail dying,” the only retail that will dissipate is those players who neglect the changing market. Author Vicki Cantrell explains that “In 2017, 29% of sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday occurred on mobile e-commerce websites and apps.” There is a huge effort to integrate retail facilities with mobile and interactive/experiential elements that should be embraced as 2018 rolls out.
2. Customer Perception is Huge
Proper usage of consumer data can be transformative. Strategically understanding customer needs through trends and eye-opening store environments is a huge value-add. Needs and values change – retailers who can recognize this and adapt will stay on top.
3. Lifecycle Shouldn’t Be Overlooked
Before purchasing anything, a customer interacts directly with your brand, whether digitally or in brick and mortar. Retailers must manage this experience before the purchase, during, and after to follow up with a review or future promotion to encourage future sales. In an in-store environment, many would argue there is the most opportunity of any channel to nurture the customer. Through effective store space planning/construction, and staff/technology assisted selling options, retailers can thrive and even create an uptick in foot traffic.
4. Popping-up for Experiences
The concept of “pop-ups” has represented more than $50 billion/year in revenue for American retailers. For many, this can be a helpful test and value discovery tactic as corporations endeavor to stay on top of customer expectations. Whichever form a store environment takes on, the physical make-up of the space is detrimental to a company’s background.
This is where a forward-thinking general contractor presents a unique value. When a construction partner understands the impact of a store’s prototype and sense of vitality, the highest value output is achieved.