After the flurry of Christmas trading results it is time for retailers to take a step back (briefly) to assess what to do differently next year; how to prevent the same mistakes and how to build on the successes. If Retail Remedy was assisting in that exercise we would be looking at the following trends for inspiration.
After the massive volume spike following Black Friday and the surge in click and collect, we expect retailers to significantly invest in their delivery solutions and be seeking greater efficiencies and faster processing in store. Reliability will be the watch word, both internally and in terms of marketing themselves to the customer.
Another watch word will be collaboration. The Ebay Argos partnership is working well offering advantages to both retailers. Expect more to follow suit, utilising space and location.
Digital mirrors, virtual catwalks, music gigs: the retailer is enticing the customer away from their tablets and back into stores by offering an experience, a gimmick, yes but one that can lure the curious and tempt the sceptical.
Experiential retailing isn’t limited to physical stores either. Where a website was transaction-centric, scoring sales through intuitive navigation and immediate stock information, the customer is becoming more sophisticated and expects a ‘wow’. This will take the form of interactive tools, how-to videos and editorial content designed to upsell. Of course, this is layered on top of a seamless transaction journey.
Ensuring that the right product is on the shelf in the right place at the right time is the back bone of retail particularly when sales are concentrated into a short time window. The way in which that exercise is performed is reliant on algorithms and integrated systems between the supplier, the retailer and the customer, shortening lead times and allowing increased agility.
Expect the customer to be using their mobile to scan their shopping, drones to perform stock checks in aisles sending live updates to suppliers as it goes, RFDI data to automatically update the price of the product on the shelf… eventually.
What shouldn’t change is that the retailer must always keep the customer at the core of what they do and how they do it. Perhaps we will see a trend towards more retailers being reminded of that.
Retail Remedy provides bespoke, results-focused consultancy for retailers globally, from established brands to high-growth start-ups. Get in touch.