In the last decade, the retail industry has gone through several changes and is evolving at a rapid pace. Since the beginning, the evolution of the retail industry is mainly driven by emerging technologies and shifting preferences of the shoppers and year-after-year we have been seeing technological advancements in the way businesses sell their products to their end-customers.
- The use of multi-channels to increase customer reach is the new norm of 2019 in the retail industry and most retail owners are reaching out to customers through multiple channels including the conventional brick and mortar stores, online stores, and Social shopping sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to name a few. Social shopping sites can sometimes add additional overheads to retailers as they aren’t free to use and you need to pay for promoting your ads, for proper return on ad spends the retailers need to hire experts who can design cost-effective and profitable ad campaigns on the various shopping sites.
- Shopping with Augmented Reality (AR) is on the rise in 2019. Retailers like Target, Lowes, and Amazon have integrated the AR feature into their websites that allow shoppers to picture their desired furniture in their homes before actually buying it, thus taking the furniture shopping experience to an entirely new level.
- Product Customization is another new retail trend that is going viral in 2019. International brands are now offering customization options like the use of embroidery, monograms and unique color schemes that ensure one-of-a-kind, unique look of a product. Levi’s, for instance, allows its customers to opt for custom embroidery on the purchased garments and Nike, on the other hand, allows customers to completely customize their sneakers for a unique look. Among other brands that are using this latest retail trend of customization are Atelier, Lot Stock & Barrel, and Repairs. The greatest advantage of owning a customized product is it lets you stand out in the sea of duplicates.
- Same-day delivery is also gaining momentum in 2019. Until recently, shoppers were happy with a 2-day ship time and slowly next-day delivery has become the norm in the industry, Amazon has been the leader and trendsetter for this norm through its popular Amazon Prime membership and slowly other retailers have caught up on this next-day delivery. Today, same-day delivery is what most shoppers are looking at and most e-commerce retailers are already offering this feature to their valued customers. Amazon’s Prime Air service uses drone technology to ship products to shoppers under 30 minutes time!
- Owning private label brands can sometimes make a huge difference in positioning yourself as a top retailer in the competitive retail market. Contrary to selling only global or top brands, most retailers are now selling their own private label brands along with the top brands to woo the customers who give importance to quality at affordable prices rather than the brand name. Having a private label can greatly help retailers stay ahead in the game.
- Shoppers are increasingly becoming conscious about the ethics and the values of the businesses they are buying from and aren’t just looking for quality, for instance, people are less likely to buy a leather jacket with real animal fur even if it means that it is the of the best quality because of the violation of animal rights. Shoppers are looking for total transparency and the right use of ethos from businesses they buy their products from. The success of brands like The Body Shop and TOMS mainly lies in their transparency and the use of right ethical practices while making their products.
- Visual search is another latest trend of 2019 that is on the rise and is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Most online retailers are incorporating this feature into their online sites. Visual search allows shoppers to search for their desired product just by snapping a picture and using it in the search engine instead of the conventional text and AI does the magic for you and identifies the product.