By: Richard Miller, January 26,2016
It is now 2016, and the evolution of technology has literally put the shopping experience for consumers in their own hands. As consumers turn to their mobile devices to make purchases,collect information, and ultimately make buying decisions retailers will need to evolve with this constantly changing industry. Through research of current trends in the retail industry for 2016, I have found that the term mobile has come up in one way or another in many of these trends.
One article specifically caught my attention by Vend University, simply titled “Retail Trends and Predictions 2016.” The article includes 12 trends in the retail industry with examples included of company’s that have been working to perfect some of these trends. Again, like other articles mobile is included in many of the trends. Consumers are making less frequent trips to stores,so now more than ever it is important to enhance the in-store customer experience. More in-store mobile options for the consumers will ultimately lead to more satisfied customers and increased sales for businesses. For example, Borough Kitchen has adopted an in-store mobile device for associates to use when assisting customers in finding new products and increasing the speed of checkout. Another major initiative I found to be beneficial is the advancement of click and collect initiatives. Early developments of this feature has typically been consumers shopping online and picking up the products in the store, but in 2016 retailers are expected to find new ways to use this feature to enhance the customer experience. For example, stores that offer pick up services such as may opt to use a text feature where customers can text in a coffee order for example, and when the customer arrives through the drive through the coffee is ready for pickup. The feature could also include a payment option for the customer to pre-pay, or the customer can choose to pay cash at pickup. Consumers are always on-the-go and they are looking for more ways to simplify the ordering process.
In the end, the retail industry is like any other with its ever changing technology and consumer expectations. Businesses need to stay current on this information to help understand how they can incorporate it into their daily business practices. Stores are seeing less foot traffic, and marketers are finding creative ways to bring them back. Now, its up to you choose how to revolutionize the in-store experience for your customers, but do it quickly because tomorrow it will most likely change again.
Source: “Retail Trends and Predictions 2016.” https://www.vendhq.com/university/retail-trends-and-predictions-2016