In any industry, trends come and go. Some are predicted, become a big hit and then part of the norm, whilst others seem to spring up out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly.
But what is predicted for the retail sector in 2018? Despite the fact that The Independent believes the industry will have a fight on its hands to survive and revenues will flatline amid fears over the impact of Brexit and cautious spending by consumers, there is some positive news on the horizon.
Social media and technology
Social media and technology continue to be at the forefront of growth in many sectors, not just retail. Instead of it continuing to be a pretty one-dimensional experience, the use of technology such as augmented and virtual reality should make it feel much more like a real-life experience.
There is a whole raft of in-store technologies that retailers have adopted at great cost, such as touch screens to allow clients to select goods to be sent to changing rooms, but if the back-office systems or a lack of staff training don’t allow for this to happen seamlessly, then it’s a wasted investment. Stores which have implemented such technologies need to revisit how they work in reality and make sure that they’re making the most out of them.
Of course, the retail sector has a whole raft of tools in its armoury to provide customers with an in-store experience that they can’t get from shopping online. That experience can be created through clever use of music, lighting and scent marketing, where aromas are used to enhance and influence the mood of shoppers to entice them to buy more. Companies such as can advise retail businesses where to start with sense marketing.
So, 2018 is going to be tough for retailers, but by engaging in social media and technology trends, as well as exploring sense marketing avenues, for example, stores can stay ahead of the curve. Price is always a key issue for retailers and will continue to be so. Getting the balance right between price point and service is difficult and must be monitored and addressed, if necessary, to stay competitive.
Finally, retailers may need to consider taking a lead from other sectors and branching out into secondary revenue streams.