We are officially into the 2015 year and before we begin to discuss what are going to be the top trends in the Retail & Consumer Products industry for this year, lets take a look back at a few trends that really gained momentum and came out on top in 2014!
Personalization & Relationships
Technologies like mobile devices and e-commerce platforms are causing paradigm shifts in delivering personalized shopping experiences, new business models are creating revolutionary movements in the industry. Technology serves as the catalyst for change with retailers, but innovative business models from companies like Amazon and Apple will continue to influence the way consumers engage with brands and shop for goods and services. From targeted emails, web content management, cross-channel marketing campaigns, to Big Data, mobile payments and mobile POS, retailers can personalize the shoppers experience in many ways. Innovative retailers will not only take personalization to a whole new level, but it will transform their future business models and shape retail strategies moving forward.
Mobile gained a lot of momentum in 2014 and continues to transform the retail industry just as digital technology has altered the manner in which the connected consumer shops. Social interactions and commerce to marketing and in-store experiences, mobile technology is the bridge that connects the digital and physical channels for consumers as retailers’ strive to deliver omni-channel shopping experiences. Here are some of the top trends in mobile that made a huge impact in 2014:
- Mobile Commerce
- Mobile Payments
- Mobile POS Systems
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- Beacons – Apple has been an innovator in consumer electronics and continues to push the boundaries when it comes to customer experience. Using Bluetooth technology, Apple can pinpoint a shopper’s location and deliver real-time information to that customer via their smartphone or tablet. Leading retailers have learned using mobile alerts for personalization that link to a customer’s loyalty program profile and can make recommendations and mobile offers relevant to that shopper. Beacon technology is providing retailers with the power to deliver highly relevant data content and revamp the in-store experience. Wearable Technology – Wearables are putting consumers in control of the experience and electronic manufacturers and retailers are continuing to produce their version of a “wearable” device. Companies like Microsoft, Nike, Jawbone, Motorola, Jewelers, etc. have seen the vast opportunity into the wearable market; and who can forget the upcoming launch of the new Apple Watch this spring.
- IoT – The Internet of Things – has interconnected everything from your refrigerator to your bed to your pet and gathers and analyzes data to improve the lives of consumers. The adoption of IoT by leading retail companies is impacting the way retailers seek new ways to bring value to their customers. IoT provides the opportunity to be a better service provider, operate more efficiently and provide high quality service and products.
- Digital Clienteling – Leading companies are clienteling: using information about an individual (purchase behavior and habits) during in-store interactions to assist with creating personalized experiences to strengthen the relationship between them and the shopper. Burberry’s high-end retail experience and investments in digital clienteling are proving to be a key differentiator and sales driver for the brand. Sales associates are armed with iPads using a clienteling app geared to help “accessorize” or virtually make fashion recommendations for a customer.
- RFID – Zara is using RFID, a Sensormatic dual technology that provides hard tags and detachers at POS. With this technology they are able to have a 360-degree and real-time view of inventory that enables them to create tailored product assortments and detailed merchandise plans. Zara will be able to deliver a streamlined shopping experience by keeping pace with the most relevant trends to help satisfy their customer’s needs.
Social media helps retailers generate awareness and excitement as well as boost traffic both online and in-store. 2014 showed that promoting social engagement in the store can be a very successful strategy. Nordstrom started using social engagement in 2013 utilizing Pinterest to create a fan base to help identify what their customer’s favorite products were and encourage social engagement. Nordstrom took the most pinned products and created in-store promotions around them with unique merchandising displays and special signage.
Check out the Consumer Markets Practice whitepaper, Retail’s Guide to the Connected Consumer, to review more top trends from 2014!
Stay tuned as we discuss what are looking to be the top trends in 2015!