HOW WILL TODAY’S CUSTOMER DRIVE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN THE RETAIL SECTOR? By Mel Brown
eing aware of consumer trends is vital to future proofing your business so… how will today’s customer’s interests and behaviours drive opportunities and challenges in the retail sector? Modern on-line shopping behaviours have impacted brick and mortar stores, making it harder than ever to compete on price and product alone. Also, customers don’t want to just buy a product from a shop and leave because they could do this from the comfort of their own home. So, what are customers now looking for from a retail experience? We undertook some research to find the biggest trends predicted for the retail sector this year. 28
3 Biggest Consumer Trends in Retail 2019 1. RETAIL AS A SERVICE TREND EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL The idea of in-store customer experience isn’t new, but consumers’ expectations of the shopping experience are changing. This trend has been largely driven by millennials and their preference for experiences over things. Megan Broohy, retail analyst at FitSmallBusiness says. ‘A big part of what sets independent retailers apart is their ability to really connect with their communities and shoppers
on a personal level and offer unmatched customer service. Independent retailers will continue to focus on the nonmerchandise aspects of their business, such as hosting classes and events, offering personalised gift wrapping and delivery, registry services and hosting private parties.’ Biophysics predicts 2019 will see retailers focus on brand loyalty and trust by providing services on top of the products they sell.