There’s probably no other industry that is going through as much evolution right now as retail. Customers are demanding more and more in terms of store layout, payment options in store, customer engagement and staff knowledge.
Retailers need to stay ahead of the game and the bigger players must predict the next trends in order to create a future for retail beyond online shopping.
Let’s take a look at the four global retail trends set to dominate the retail industry over the next couple of years.
#1 An immersive customer experience is king!
Retail is becoming increasingly digitalised with physical retail stores embracing technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality. These are no longer sci-fi dreams, but real experiences delivered in a real retail setting. This innovative technological approach takes a customer’s buying experience up a notch!
Nike has now taken a multichannel approach to retail. Customers can look at shoe styles in-store but then use interactive kiosks to customise their style choices. Once purchased online, the order is then delivered direct to the customer, with order processing monitored through their smartphone.
Take a look at IKEA’s AR catalogue below which allows customers to visualise how certain furniture will look inside their homes! This is a brilliantly delivered cross-over between an in-store and digital experience.
#2 Unique in-store experience
As online shopping continues to grow, the need to create remarkable in-store experiences has become more pressing. A new buzzword “Retailtainment” is now gaining ground as a way to combat the juggernaut of online ordering.
Brands are using retailtainment to create a point of difference and maintain their place in the market.
We see luxury brands, like US fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, using smart walls attached to fitting rooms which enable shoppers to browse for sizes and/or products – as well as order a glass of champagne! We clearly need more of this in New Zealand! It would be easy to see these solutions as gimmicks, but note that this creative retail strategy resulted in a 30% boost in sales, with customers reportedly requesting additional items as recommended by the smart mirror – not such a gimmick after all!
Brandstand’s Smart Screen/Touch Screen solutions can be programmed to deliver a whole world of solutions, including champagne delivery! With in-built camera options, NFC capabilities and a range of sizes and mountings, perhaps it’s time to talk to us about changing your retail space.
Some retail kiosks are also changing the game with nifty dispensing machines in place. One notable example is Sprinkles Cupcakes which has “cupcake ATMs” at its stores. People craving something sweet during the wee hours don’t have to wait for the store to open – they can just head to the nearest cupcake ATM machine, swipe a card and instantly get their fix!
#3 Pop up shops are big winners!
Pop up shops may have been around as a niche concept since the 90s, but still, they prove to be popular amongst consumers! The great thing about pop up shops is their appeal to customers with a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ concept, thereby creating a sense of urgency. The pop-up shop operates on a sense of scarcity and so places pressure on the customer to purchase. The idea is to bring a certain blend of seasonality and creative experience to what can otherwise be a boring mix!
Interactive pop-up experiences like IKEA’s Breakfast in Bed Cafe in London, for example, opened for three days and allowed customers to enjoy breakfast in a snuggly bed – for free!
Concepts like this gain not only press coverage but generate incredible amounts of social content, shared amongst many.
Brands like Nestle have also discovered the power of the pop-up store, seeing it as a tool to raise brand awareness. Known as The Kit Kat Chocolatory, this pop-up shop allowed customers to customise their own KitKat, made fresh to order, with packaging that customers could design themselves!
If you need some help in bringing a concept to life then talk to our Production Specialists in Brandstand. They have years of experience creating experiential and retail solutions, turning concepts into commercial reality.
#4 Self-service technology
Otherwise dubbed as the ‘Help Yourself Technology’, these self-service technologies are popping up everywhere in retail! From McDonald’s self-order kiosks to self-service checkouts at supermarkets, retail stores are now expected to bring more convenience to customers.
We see Amazon’s physical store providing a futuristic approach to customers, where shoppers can just walk out without the long queue to pay. Shoppers simply swipe their Amazon app upon entry then their smartphones track what items they leave the store with. These are then charged back to their Amazon Prime accounts.
Customers want to shop fast at times but they also want to slow down and be entertained at other times. How can retailers win? One thing I think we can all agree on… don’t make us queue!
Delivering great retail experience doesn’t have to be a hit or miss approach. As leaders in the display industry, we make sure your brand delivers the best experience possible to your audience. So get in touch today, and we’ll show you want we can do.