Compared to other business models, retail has always seemed fairly straightforward and easy to pin down. However, just like any niche, trends can spring up out of nowhere and totally warp the standards of every business following an established model. You need to stay on top of these trends if you want your company to really go places. Here are a few recent findings that are characterizing modern retail business.
The Dawn of the Menaissance
Historically, women have been the gender who have been in charge of purchasing decisions within the family unit. However, in recent times, we’ve seen men take the lead, in a pretty dramatic shift many influencers are calling the “menaissance”. Men are already outspending women by a significant margin, and studies predict this gap is only going to increase, particularly in the clothing niche. More and more retail outlets are going to bring their men’s range to the forefront of their merchandise, and pump more of their resources into marketing campaigns targeting men. If you’re not keeping tabs on this trend, and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you’re asking to be swallowed up by your closest competitors.
The savviest of online retailers are now taking advantage of recent leaps forward in machine learning, analytics and artificial intelligence, in order to give their customers a more personalized, convenient and targeted shopping experience. Your average merchant account in 2017 gives retailers access to a wide range of technologies which make the shopper’s experience much more automated, but this isn’t the only way AI is changing the game. With the modern makeup of social media, shopping histories, and other factors which extend everyone’s digital footprints, it’s easier than ever for retailers to offer their customers a much more tailored range of products. Countless online brands are already using these technologies to provide people with personalized recommendations. Another big leap in AI and similar technologies is the use of facial recognition in modern advertisements. It’s now possible for displays fitted with cameras to tell someone’s gender and approximate age, and then show them an ad designed to appeal to their demographic.
Co-Shopping and More Shopping Carts
These days, grocery shopping is being divided more and more between the different members of a family. Well over half of households now share the regular shopping responsibilities, and this is proving to be something of a double-edged sword for food retailers. On the one hand, it means more baskets, which is brilliant for sales. However, the fact that the target market has become so mixed has introduced various challenges when it comes to communication. Modern retailers want to have household data they can analyze, and then apply to promotions and reward programs targeting mom, dad, and both the kids. When this becomes standardized, it will make it so much easier for food retailers to identify individual preferences within households. Though this is mainly the concern of big chains, even small, independent groceries will need to adapt eventually.
If you’re running a retail business, keep these three trends in mind!