5 Retail Marketing Trends You Need to Consider

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The retail industry has changed tremendously over the past decade and it is clear that the transformation isn’t slowing down. It’s hard to ignore that today’s consumers are different. Thanks to technological advancements, they interact with their favorite brands in new ways and their product preferences have changed. At the same time, developments in the e-commerce sector have changed the game for retailers. 

US retail sales are expected to increase overall to more than $4 trillion in 2020, according to statistics from the National Retail Federation. If you’re in the retail industry and you want to take advantage of the increase in consumer spending, you need to sit up and pay attention to the trends. Here are some of the things you must consider. 

Your Brand’s Values And Culture Are More Important 

Consumers care a lot more about corporate social responsibility and social consciousness than they did in the past. Much of this is driven by millennials. They put a lot of emphasis on what your company stands for and how you treat customers, staff, and the community. If it’s not to their liking, they are quick to withdraw their support and encourage others to do likewise. 

Essentially, consumers are not only interested in the image you project; they want to know who you really are. They know you will make mistakes but they expect you to own up to them, and make the necessary changes. 

Consumers also want to know more about the things they’re buying. They’ll ask about where you source your products, what they contain and how the ingredients are sourced. If they don’t get the information they need or the information isn’t to their liking, they’ll take their business elsewhere. This means accountability and transparency are more important than ever. 

Consumers Expect Fast Shipping 

You are no doubt aware that e-commerce has become extremely popular and virtually all major brands offer online shopping. In addition, free shipping has become more commonplace especially among larger companies. With so many retailers competing in the online space, you must find ways to set your business apart and deliver value. One way to do this is to get merchandise to the customer’s door as quickly as possible. 

With Amazon Prime conditioning shoppers to expect their purchase in a day or two, most don’t want to wait for more than 4.5 days for their shipment. You may not be able to use drones and offer deliveries within 48 hours, but you should try to cut down your shipping time as much as possible. Your shipping time could be the differentiating factor between your business and a competitor. 

Subscription Boxes Are In Demand By Today’s Buyers 

Staying on the topic of e-commerce, the only thing better than selecting products and having them delivered is automatically getting a curated box of items each month. Over the past decade, subscription e-commerce has taken off. According to research by McKinsey & Company, this market grew by more than 100 percent between 2012 and 2017. 

Subscription businesses span a wide gamut including personal care, wine and beer, clothing, and pet food. While subscription e-commerce was initially driven by start-ups, established brands have recognized how lucrative it is. This trend shows that consumers, especially younger, affluent consumers, are willing to pay for personalized, convenient service. This type of shopping is likely to become more popular so you should give serious thought to offering your products in this way. 

Consumers Want Experiences, Not Just Products 

Despite what we’ve said so far about e-commerce, you shouldn’t assume that brick-and-mortar stores are dead. Many shoppers, including millennials, make their purchases in physical retail stores. Sure, many stores in the US have closed but brands like Sephora and Lululemon have increased their in-store sales. 

The key is to make the experience interesting and valuable by offering something in-store that consumers can’t get online. You can go high-tech and incorporate a fun mobile app into the shopping experience. Alternatively, you can host workshops, demonstrations or even purely social events in-store. Focus on increasing brand awareness through education and entertainment instead of constantly pushing your products. When you do this, don’t ignore the effectiveness of traditional marketing tools like neon signs which can get people through the doors

Augmented Reality is Becoming More Popular 

If you’ve already considered these trends and you want to go a step further, augmented and reality and artificial intelligence present new opportunities. These allow you to combine the strengths of physical and digital experiences. AR can be used to help shoppers see how your items will look in their home before they make a purchase. AI can help you to gather more information about your shoppers so you can better meet their needs. This type of technology can be costly but brands like Shopify offer accessible AR tools for small brands. 

Retail is an ever-evolving industry and the most recent trends are due to technological changes and the shifting demands of consumers. If you want your business to grow, you need to embrace these trends. You don’t need to do everything at once, but you need to at least research all the opportunities available to you. 

Lara Douglas is a young woman who loves interior designing and home decor. She is passionate about new trends and fashion forward home d├ęcor ideas. She regularly posts at Neon Signs Depot.

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