What's crazy about the retail world is how fast the speed of change is. We live in a customer-driven economy and the customer is in charge. Without knowing, the demands being made upon the retail industry are about keeping up with transformation and providing a disruptive and memorable experience to keep customers engaged.
The trends in the retail space feel as if there is something new every month, if not every day. This category is one we watch very closely as our team partners with some of the world’s [yes, we said “world’s”] largest and most successful retailers.
We’re wanting to share the top five trends that we’re seeing across the board in the retail industry. The impact of these five trends is encouraging retailers to do away with the traditional department stores and focus on a concept that is unique and different.
With the pendulum swing taking place, brands quickly realize they need to make changes to keep up with the ever-changing industry.
The five trends of 2017 that are exploding with clients and retailers across the board include:
Shoppers want a different experience. They want something in their community, involved with their community, and for their community. This might manifest in different ways such as same-day delivery, local and specific philanthropic programs and products designed for the area.
This one is incredible. People use Apple as an example all the time: it’s because they are continually raising the bar. They’ve shown customers and the retail industry what it’s like to think outside of the box and have technology work for you in such a different way.
If you think about Apple stores, there isn’t a check-out counter, the person who supports you at Genius Bar helps you through the purchase cycle, and you pay via a phone or iPad. Customers love this, a personalized technology component that is more intuitive and smart than any other check-out system. Their standard is making retailers think differently.
Oh, and we can't forget about the online experience and how it's evolving almost overnight.
Nordstrom is another retailer that drives trends and sets the tone. We love their new Nordstrom Local concept where this new format is all about the experience. With eight dressing rooms and personal stylists curating outfits – all the while offering manicures and beverages – the customer gets to enjoy a trip to Nordstrom where it is all experiential. Nordstrom is seeking to provide customers with a differentiated experience that is high-touch, high-engagement, and high-experience.
Authentic, quality & transparency
Earlier this year, Deloitte produced a study that showcased that the retail community seeks, “authenticity, newness, convenience, and creativity.” They want products to meet their high standards and seek the information on the products, processes, and company to make informed decisions. In short, transparency is the key to ensure customers have a line-of-sight to the vision, beliefs, and workings of the company which helps them view the company authentically. Customers find quality in the way a business is run, and the products sold based upon the level of transparency. It seems to be a retail circle that makes businesses go around.
Need we explain this one? We all desire convenience whether that’s a quick coffee through a drive-thru, Amazon Now, online order pick-up in store, you get the point. Convenience is king, and this is where we are seeing so many of our clients come to us for help.
With smaller footprint stores trending in the biggest name brands, they need new fixtures and displays to facilitate sales within their new store format. Our team has been rapidly designing, prototyping, testing, and rolling out features for stores of every size to support their convenience strategy.
What trends of 2017 intrigue you most?