The future of retail – to 2014 and beyond!
“Followers are the new ‘foot-traffic’ and posts are the new ‘may I help you?” – John Cahplan, CEO, OpenSky
- Physical stores remained the most important channel in assisting consumers to shop with a retailer
- Online, social and mobile channels were perceived as more important channels now than they were 12 months ago in terms of connecting with consumers.
- Physical stores and online continue to be the primary sales channels
- Importance of stores deceased from 76% in 2012 to 68% in 2013
- Year on year increase in mobile sales from 2012 to 2013, with 32% now reporting sales of up to 25% of turnover
- Social media importance increased in 2013, up from 28% in 2012
- In 2013, mobile showed the largest increase in sales generation
- In Australia & NZ, customer loyalty remained a strong opportunity for retailers
Social & mobile lack conversion:
Although compared to the results in 2012, mobile and social channels have increased in importance, they are weak sales channels and lacking in converting to direct sales. The primary focus of the social channels was commonly discussed as being ‘brand building’ or the ‘provision of information-based content’.
Social channels provide significant barriers as they are predominantly not seen as a method to buy, but a method to educate and inform. There is no doubt that the mobile area will be a main method of monetisation moving forward, particularly as computing becomes more mobile and people rely on tablets and phones as their main form of sharing information (Asia-Pacific CEO) .
“Successful companies will engage customers through “omnichannel” retailing: a mashup of digital and physical experiences.” – Darrell Rigby, Brain & Co
The future evolution of retail: 6 trends on the rise
iBeacon is a mobile feature like a GPS for indoor locations. iBeacon can either personalise your shopping experience, by personally greeting you as soon as you walk into a store, guides you to the product you’re looking for, been lingering in the one place a message will pop up asking “do you need some assistance?”, offers you information on products you are near through reviews and videos and as well as exclusive discounts/ coupon codes.
Apart from enabling a personalised shopping experience, iBeacon also enables mobile payment. Why queue in a store just to hand over your credit card if all you need is your phone to pay? Imagine going into a store, selecting what you want, paying via your mobile phone and getting your shopping delivered to your home or work.
2. Google+ shopping & styling hangouts
In October 2013, Diane Von Furstenberg hosted the first ever shoppable Google+ Hangout, one in a series to be held by CFDA designers. Von Furstenberg, along with co-host and Lucky magazine editor-in-chief Eva Chen, answered questions from guests about her career and inspiration, alternately touting various clothes and accessories from her fall collection. Those who watched the Hangout online saw photos of those items to the right of the Hangout video, which they could click to buy.
3. Social Currency
During New York Fashion Week, legendary designer Marc Jacobs opened up a pop-up shop with a twist. This store certaintly has ‘No cash on premises’ as they only accept social currency. What constitutes social currency? Posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that use the hashtag #MJDaisyChain, with the best social media posts resulting in Marc Jacobs accessories for their authors.
To entice customers to enter the shop, it also featured:
- A comfortable lounge with food, drinks, and Wi-Fi.
- Daisy-themed artwork by Langley Fox Hemingway
- A live Daisy photo booth
- Music by D.J. Jilly Hendrix
- Daisy fragrance samples and Marc Jacobs accessories.
I don’t think this is the last time we will see a brand using social currency.
4. Social feedback will factor into purchases
The 4.5 million fan-base on Nordstrom’s Pinterest page to help promote items in the store. Items that have been most frequently pinned on Pinterest are highlighted in-store using red tags.Users are also able to pin any item on the Nordstrom website, effectively translating a digital tool into the physical retail environment.
5. Speedier service
Speedy, efficient service will certainty keep your customers returning for more. Many online stores are beginning to offer same day delivery. For example The Iconic offers 3hr delivery to those located in Sydney & Melbourne metro regions. Not only that but they also offer FREE postage, FREE returns and you have 100 days to decide. Love them!
6. Blurred lines between offline & online stores
We are already seeing self-checkout services pop up in big retail chains, but in the future will all of our shopping be self-service and virtual?
Online luxury fashion retailer, Net-a-porter has launched its spring/summer 2014 campaign, which allows consumers to scan and and shop directly from the page using the brand’s app. Each of the advertisements feature different products which change every month. Offline brands such as Woolworths & Sportsgirl have also created shopping experiences where customers don’t even have to physically visit the store simply by using a QR code. The QR codes are meant to provide the consumer with more information on the product before they make their purchase, as well as allow them to make the purchase right from their phone.
Need some milk but stuck at the bus stop? Now you can buy it while you wait.
As a customer, what do you want to or expect to see from retailers in the future?