The consumer slowdown had a negative impact on the entire South African retail industry. Your retail store only produced modest gains over last year’s total profit, but nothing more.
Creating steep discounts and generous promotions increased the amount of customers in your store, but only resulted in capping your profits.
In order to turn things around, you’ll need to understand the landscape and outlook for 2017. Planning your strategies for the year ahead is vital to your retail business keeping its doors open.
Here are the top four impactful retail trends of 2017:
1Divide and conquer
A recent trend that will continue to grow into 2017 is a strategy that both Uber and Amazon employ. Both companies establish their credibility in core competencies, and then expand into other industries or add a variety of options to current services.
Related: Latest Trends Driving Retail Today
Examples are how Uber has expanded into delivering food with UberEATS and how Amazon is creating AmazonGo, which allows customers to walk in and walk out without having to physically pay for their goods, with the amount being deducted from their Amazon accounts.
Physical retailers will be adopting this trend in 2017. Consider how your store can, in a novel way, get products into your customers’ hands. You’ll also need ways to drum up new products and services to offer what could seem a little unusual, or even unorthodox.
The growth of the millennial market has caused a new innovative concept to develop: Experiential marketing. According to renowned retail broker and consultant Faith Hope Consolo, this allows customers to not only see a product on the shelf, but try out the lifestyle, concept or product.
“Experiential shopping is a growing movement. For luxury, the trend means selling a lifestyle associated with the brand as a way to showcase the product,” explains Consolo.
As an example the Hershey Company’s store trades up to three times its size because it incorporates this trend into its strategy. Shopper expectation is driving retailers’ decisions.
“These area retailers are bringing on the experience with more dining options, gyms/spas, theatres and experience-focused stores. They’re creating more reasons to visit and are becoming a one-stop shop for all family members. It is luxury mixed with necessities mixed with services,” explains Consolo.
3Storefronts are on the way out
Numerous stores across the world have either announced closing down retail stores or will in the coming year. This isn’t because the bricks-and-mortar stores aren’t profitable. It’s because retailers aren’t capitalising enough on the advantage they have with a physical space.
According to Euclid Analytics’ report, two out of three shoppers would prefer to inspect the products personally, they want to see, touch and hold products before they buy.
To compete against the e-commerce giants, you need to make it fun and valuable for shoppers to transact in-person. Unless you can make your retail space more effective and engaging, you might be a part of further store closures in 2017.
Related: The Future Of Retail?
4Marketing using e-commerce
E-commerce will continue to function as another arm of the multi-channel approach. “Shoppers like to be informed and are keen on comparison shopping, so when they walk into a store, they’ve likely done their homework and are ready to buy,” explains Consolo.
“Retailers must be open to expanding technology, using social media to capture attention and connect the dots online.”
Consolo explains that shoppers want instant gratification, but they also want to touch, see and try products too. This is leading to online giants, such as Amazon, to create real-world stores to appeal to both their online and the ‘in-store’ consumers.
If you’re looking to improve your retail stores profitability, keep these top four retail trends in mind. Ensure you meet your customers’ expectation and offer services they need to create a dual revenue stream.
Use your physical store to your utmost advantage this year to compete against online stores, as customers prefer to physically inspect their purchases before buying. Additionally, keep your e-commerce online store up and running as customers like to research about the product before going in-store to buy it.