Retail Trends to Watch Out for in 2019
New technology rapidly changes the way things work as well as what we need to focus on as both consumers and retailers. As 2018 comes to a close, here are some trends that we see picking up speed in the New Year.
Millennials are the biggest consumer generation to date, which means their shopping habits are important to study. Many millennials aren’t as captivated by brands and advertisements as the generations before them. This consumer audience tends to shop with their values, relying on person-to-person recommendations and giving their money to businesses that have a culture and belief system they can see eye-to-eye on.
In the age where you can get almost anything on Amazon with just a few taps on your phone, having an online presence in addition to your brick and mortar storefront is increasingly important. More and more retailers are selling their inventory through both platforms in order to stay relevant, using features such as email lists, online coupons, and the option to order online and pick up in-store. A 2015 study found that retailers using multiple channels to sell their products averaged twice the sales of those using only one channel.
Retail Subscription Boxes
Online shopping is popular because of its convenience and expansive inventory — and who doesn’t love getting a package in the mail? Subscription boxes are not only convenient, but are also similar to getting surprise gifts in the mail every month. For most subscription services, you fill out a questionnaire and pay a monthly fee, and each month a box of personalized products are delivered to your door. From makeup to underwear, and dinner ingredients to pet toys, the perfect subscription box exists for everyone, and the market for them is endless. This trend appears to be getting positive industry attention, with big retailers such as J.C. Penney, Target, and Gap having all jumped on the subscription box train.
In order to create an exceptional and convenient shopping experience, artificial intelligence and other new technologies are on the rise. Some retailers use A.I. in addition to their original sales associates for exciting in-store customer service. Others use the data pulled from chatbots to expand their ability to recommend products to customers. Since 2016, Amazon has been working toward making small parcel deliveries by drone. Although it may be slow to gain popularity among smaller businesses because of cost, smart decisions in regard to utilizing A.I could be a huge drive in retail profitability over the next year or two.