4 Global Trends Reshaping Retail in 2017

Retail Trends

4 Global Trends Reshaping Retail in 2017

With the onset of the Digital Age, retail is undergoing a process of revolution along with countless other sectors in the global economy. Customer expectations are increasing, technology is being used to drive innovation, brand loyalty and retention is fast becoming the retailer’s top priority in an age where change is constant. We took a look at four of the major trends in retail for 2017 and how to take advantage of these predictions.

1. The Digital Overlap

It’s certainly no trade secret. The biggest trend in retail is the mass expansion into the digital space. If your customers aren’t shopping your products online, they’re doing their research there before entering your brick-and-mortar store. According to the latest Total Retail Survey by PwC Global, in the homeware/décor fittings category, “62% of customers still prefer to make purchases in store, while 26% preferred to do it online.” For certain retail goods, tangibility is still key to the decision-making process, so don’t abandon your physical store just yet. The solution is an integrated service. Somewhere between discovering your brand to final conversion, your customer is engaging with your brand online – make sure you’re visible.

With the onset of the Digital Age, retail is undergoing a process of revolution along with countless other sectors in the global economy. Customer expectations are increasing, technology is being used to drive innovation, brand loyalty and retention is fast becoming the retailer’s top priority in an age where change is constant. We took a look at four of the major trends in retail for 2017 and how to take advantage of these predictions.

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2. Mobile Payments Lead the Way

Statistics portal, statista predicts that the global mobile payment market will amount to $780 billion in annual transaction volume in 2017. The market has almost doubled in value since 2015, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Retailers who have not yet adopted mobile payments should make a concerted effort to do so, in order to take advantage of this trend. Some of the leading mobile payment apps include Apple Pay, Google Wallet and in South Africa, SnapScan and Zapper.

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3. Immersive Customer Experiences Are Key

With digital driving change in retail, brick-and-mortar stores are needing to become more innovative in their approach to the retail experience. The new buzzword – “immersion” – has become synonymous with virtual reality and its partner in crime, augmented reality. From Topshop’s AR experience that allows customers to try on clothes virtually, to IKEA’s AR catalogue that allows customers to visualise how certain furniture will look inside their homes, technology is at the forefront of the retail revolution. Creating an immersive customer experience doesn’t have to go as far as VR and AR – it’s about stimulating the five senses. Lighting, interactivity, sound – there are countless studies on how these sensory elements affect purchase decisions. Physical stores need to invest in the complete experience rather than relying on the chance encounter.

4. Sustainable is the New Black

The movement towards environmentally conscious living has spilled over into the global retail sector in a big way, and is now one of the main motivations behind purchase decisions. The more eco-friendly a product is, the more economically viable it becomes – especially amongst millennials. Nielsen’s Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility 2015 reported that, “66% of global respondents say they’re willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.” This percentage continues to increase year on year. Customers are becoming more sustainably minded - so should retailers.

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Have any trends that you predict will emerge during 2017? Let us know. Let's chat via Twitter.

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