As we approach the end of 2018, we have reflected on some of the major changes we have seen in global retailing, and have predicted five key trends that we expect to develop and shape the global retail market over the next 12 months and beyond.
We believe we’ll see retailers and brands introduce numerous initiatives to address these trends in 2019:
- Data dictates the way
- Doing good is good business
- Seamless stores
- Help me be healthy
- Anywhere, anytime
Data dictates the way
We expect to see more retailers using customer datasets, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning at store level to drive revenue and increase customer satisfaction.
Retailers will use ever-greater amounts of data about what’s selling, who’s shopping where, and inventory levels, to make more informed decisions. Some decision making will be solely done by AI.
To truly capitalise on the advantages of AI there will be a greater need than ever for retailers and manufacturers to share data, and work together on shopper-focused initiatives.
Kroger, US, can measure the impact of digital programmes and advertising through to purchase. It provides this data to the companies that are investing with it.
Source: IGD Research
Doing good is good business
During 2019, we believe retailers and brands will look to differentiate and set higher standards on sustainability topics.
They’ll want to show they have strong values, and that good deeds are just as important as profits.
The next wave of innovative and leading retailers and brands will move beyond reducing their impact. For example, by 2025 M&S wants to be the world’s leading retailer on engaging and supporting customers in sustainable living.
They will aim to create a positive impact on the environment and society. This could be a game-changer in public image terms, and help create loyalty.
The physical store still has the advantage over online when it comes to shoppers being able to personally choose products, and impulse purchasing, and giving shoppers instant gratification from purchasing.
We expect to see stores boost their advantage over the online channel. They’ll add some of its capabilities, like using technology to make it easier to find items, gain more product information and receive rewards and promotions.
Retailers will innovate with technology to help the shopping trip, particularly to improve stock management and make shopping quicker and smoother.
Sam’s Club Now, US
This new club concept enables the retailer to test the latest tech-led initiatives and adapt the in-store layout.
‘Wayfinding and navigation’ is one new feature of its mobile app. By using voice search capabilities combined with navigation features, a map will pop up and take shoppers to the item they want.
Source: IGD Research
Help me be healthy
Most shoppers aspire to eat and live well but aspirations don’t always translate into action.
We believe shoppers will be more health conscious, and supporting them both to look and feel good will be a major priority for retailers and their suppliers.
We expect to see more retailers educating, informing and rewarding shoppers for living healthier lives.
Retailers and brands will use nudge behaviour techniques. They’ll positively reinforce and indirectly suggest ways to gently push shoppers towards a healthier lifestyle.
Migros, in Turkey, offers shoppers personalised discounts on the food group that they appear to be lacking, as a healthier living recommendation.
Source: Consumer Goods Forum
We expect new innovative social commerce solutions to emerge throughout 2019. Retailers and suppliers will deliver targeted marketing, and new ways to make online shopping more social, instantaneous, and convenient.
Shopping will become seamless and omnipresent. People will no longer need to visit a retailer’s online store. As they look at pictures, watch videos or TV they’ll be able to just add products to a shopping cart.
Facebook has launched its Marketplace in Singapore, where individuals can buy and sell items. C2C (consumer to consumer) commerce is a key component in the social shopping mix in many Asian countries.
The biggest trend of all in 2019 is likely to be the continuation of rapid and radical change within the food and grocery industry. Technology will enable change, and shoppers’ evolving expectations will drive it.
Can you keep up, or even lead the way? Can you create enhanced or new solutions to give customers what they want, when or even before they want it?
You could achieve extremely positive results, like more customers, higher sales and increased loyalty.
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1 IGD Shoppers of the Future
2 ShopperVista, Base: 1,721 British grocery shoppers, Dec’17
3 Digital In 2018, We Are Social, January 2018