This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
Did You Know This Happened in Retail 2018?
In a couple of hours, another year will be done. And as always there has been plenty of ups and downs when it comes to retail. But what were the major shifts that happened in Retail 2018? Here is a couple that we saw, did you know they happened this year?
1. Experience is Even More Important
This has been a litany for a couple of years now. But as Millennial and Gen Z spending power grows, it becomes more and more important. Just think of the digitally driven Nike Live store, the Build-a-Bear Pay your Age campaign, the Diesel Knockoff campaign or Payless with Paylessi. All very different experiences with some that had more success than others. But customers no longer just want to spend, they want retail experience. And getting the experience right for your customers is essential because if you don't, there can be a lot of backlash.
2. Brick and Mortar is Still Relevant
There is still a lot of talk about the end of physical retail. But this retail 2018 has brought a number of interesting developments that say otherwise. From Amazon opening 4 Star - their newest brick and mortar store to the growth of Pop-up stores. Even Casper, an online mattress company that disrupted the way we shop for mattresses have 17 long-term pop-ups in the US and a permanent store in New York after this year. Now add that Shopify, an e-commerce platform opened a brick-and-mortar store to support their customers and you have more than enough evidence that this key part of retail is nowhere near being done.
3. More Retail, More Tech
Technology is something that touches every part of our lives. And more and more retailers are making use of technology to blur the lines between online and offline. Retail 2018 saw Walmart testing out 3D virtual shopping, Wi-Fi enabled doorbells to make home deliveries easier, and Microsoft attaching cameras to shopping carts to help with autonomous-checkouts. Even Dollar General piloted a Scan and Go program this year. From online pure-plays to dollar stores, technology blurs the shopping channel lines.
4. Sustainability Takes the Foreground
This is another trend that a lot of retailers have given lip service to in the last couple of years. But retail 2018 saw retailers walking the talk. From REI implementing a used gear section to Burberry no longer burning inventory they can't sell. Slow fashion is another concept that has been getting a lot more attention. After all, more and more consumers are calling for retailers to be accountable in their practices. And retailers listened.
5. Buy Online Pickup In-Store Becomes a Competitive Advantage
There has not been as much growth in Click and Collect as we expected this year. In fact, according to the Omni-2000 Research, only 37.8% of global retailers offer Click and Collect services. But this is still a trend that more retailers are adopting to give them a competitive advantage. Especially with the rise of shipping costs and continued competition from online retailers. The popularity of this fulfillment option in the 2018 holiday season tells us to look out for this trend in 2019. Did we miss any major ones? Let us know what you think on Twitter or Linkedin. Author:Carla van Deventer is part of the OrderDynamics Marketing team. Her background in corporate communication and events helps her navigate the ever-changing retail tech world.