As the record-setting 2018 Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales suggest, today’s consumers are willing to spend, but they want convenience, experience and rapid service to accommodate their fast-paced lives. Below are the top trends to which retailers should pay special attention in 2019:
Convenient Order/Pick-Up – In today’s world, everyone is connected to their phone, whether working or social networking. Time is valuable and people are busy, which means they need better options and accommodations for their shopping needs. ApplePay has been rolled out nationwide as a convenient way for customers to pay for their items without needing a physical card. This helps make the checkout process faster and easier, and cutting down on checkout lines is one of the leading demands in the retail world. Convenient online ordering and in-store pick-up is becoming a must have option to drive customers to your brand.
Promote What Works, Eliminate What Doesn’t – McDonald’s announced a $3 billion investment in remodeling existing locations, while pushing its focus of opening new stores out until 2020. Some retailers are closing out low-performing stores in order to put a better focus on their high performers. New design roll-outs, which include new technologies, a refined merchandising selection and better branding initiatives are catching on with retailers to assure they don’t get left behind.
Appeal to the Senses – The way a store looks and smells is obviously important. Restaurants must assure that their food tastes appealing. Retailers take into consideration acoustics of their space and how music influences customers. The physical store allows customers to touch the merchandise before buying it. But what about the other human senses, beyond the obvious ones? Take emotion, for example – being aware of how the store affects the human emotion can be just as important as the five main senses. The experience one has in the store can affect how they feel about the experience, which can ultimately influence whether they want to come back. Part of emotion is instinct. Shoppers can convince themselves that they don’t like something just by a negative first impression of it.
Technology – Technological advances continue shopper momentum and won’t stop evolving anytime soon. Amazon has remained a front runner with the implementation of Amazon Go, where consumers can make purchases without cashiers or long lines. Technology recognizes the items buyers remove from the shelf and take out of the store, which gives retailers the advantage of tracking customers purchase history as well as eliminating the threat of shoplifting. In addition, meshing the online presence with the physical store will continue to be important to stay competitive in the market and give customers the experience and efficiency they desire.
Change of Use/Mixed-Use – The “Retail Apocalypse” of the past took down some pretty large footprint stores to the detriment of shopping malls. The brands that survived, or even thrived, from the downfall of the struggling brands are making out better than ever on their real estate prospects. What was once department stores are now providing consumers with entertainment by way of brands like Dave and Buster’s, an exciting concept which features restaurant space and video arcades. Spaces are being designed to adapt for future change, as developers find themselves welcoming new types of tenants to provide their center with the holistic customer experience.