2017 brought a lot of interesting developments in retail, and this year looks set to be equally transformative. In the National Retail Federation’s Magazine, STORES, Editor Susan Reda recently shared her predictions for the industry for this year.
She says there is no doubt that a transformation is underway, with digital retail and physical stores increasingly merging in the wake of Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition. Almost no one saw the move coming, yet she says this trend will likely continue. After all, Amazon gave its local delivery distribution system a 460-outlet boost just in time to make a strong presence in the grocery delivery wars.
STORES believes that digital companies will continue to acquire physical retail stores. Albertsons has bought Plated, for example. Meanwhile, Walmart has given itself access to shoppers with deeper pockets and a bigger stake in the digital marketplace by acquiring Moosejaw, Bonobos, Shoebuy, and Modcloth.
We can also expect to see a lot more use of the showroom strategy as retailers take on a more minimalist approach to their selling. For example, Nordstrom Local offers services, with personal stylists helping people put together looks and order merchandise while inside the store, but the store itself doesn’t keep dedicated inventory on hand. Instead, shoppers place orders and can pick them up the same day, or even get tailoring done while they enjoy some wine.
Likewise, Sephora, Kohl’s, and Target have all started to open spaces that are smaller and heavily tech-focused to give shoppers more efficient experiences. So far, the reception has been good, with people generally happy to have a stylist take their measurements and work with their style preferences.
Augmented reality will also take a stronger presence, with stores like IKEA making the most of this type of technology. Mixed reality, too, should be a big player this year, proving that technology still has plenty to offer the retail sector.
Looking to make a change in your retail business in 2018? The right inventory management software can help.
This blog post was based off an article from NRF. View the original here.