There have been a number of articles and studies released recently predicting the retailing trends for 2014, from Rakuten to Daymon Worldwide to IDC Retail Insights. This article gives you the top five expectations for the UK high street this year.
Over the next 12 months retail sales are expected to increase, as shoppers are using multiple ways to make purchases. However, 2014 is not a year for retailers to sit back and watch. The retail industry is dealing with a more challenging landscape than ever before. Daymon Worldwide has labelled 2014 ‘the year of contradictions’, from a large ageing population to the technology enabled Millennial generation; improving brick and mortar stores whilst addressing the huge growth of online retail. Consumers are looking for mass produced convenience, whilst looking for a richer shopping experience that’s personalised to them.
1. Store experience
Consumers want to be entertained and informed as they make purchasing decisions in-store so we will see the lines between shopping and entertainment converging. Shoppers will expect superior customer service and a richer, engaging experience and not just in flagship locations. We are already starting to see this with Marks and Spencer doing live cooking demonstrations in the food hall and tasting samples throughout the store. Retailers who make their store an experience will ensure shoppers browse for longer – resulting in increased sales.
2. Omni-channel shopping
IDC Retail Insights state that omni-channel shopping “requires providing an immersive and superior customer experience regardless of channel”. Studies show that omni-channel shoppers spend up to 3.5 times more than their single-channel counterparts and exhibit strong brand loyalty. Retailers who are agile and adapt themselves to reach the ‘connected consumer’ by bridging all channels will be the winners of 2014.
Brands are “hyper-targeting” consumers with ads that are tailor-made for each consumer. The ads feature the products they want at the time they want them and at a price based on their previous spending. In 2014, retailers will begin to take this personalisation a lot more seriously and will be looking at how they can offer a more customised shopping experience online and in-store by using insights gathered in data profiling.
4. Social Media
According to a study by BrightLocal, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Social media has huge power to influence what people buy but in 2014 it will also influence what retailers will sell in-store. With the growth of Pinterest, retailers have access to real-time insights to check what’s popular with consumers and what’s not. By reacting to these, brands know they are giving consumers what they want.
5. Personalised products
Consumers don’t want mass produced products, consumers are looking to be different, which is why Etsy Inc. has sold more than $1billion in merchandise this year. Shoppers want products made especially for them from a certain colour to something that boasts a personal message. This is easy for small retailers whose main operation revolves around handmade products. But how are the UK’s biggest brands using this new opportunity? Topman has rolled out a live t-shirt design and printing pop-up stall at the Oxford Circus store, whilst Selfridges have opened a Mr Men and Little Miss Personalised Print PopUp over the Christmas period.
Whilst these five predictions aren’t new trends, they are becoming very prevalent in the retail sector. Brands should be aware of these trends and adapt strategies, tactics and products in order to give consumers what they want, when they want it and in any format.
Here at Cestrian, we are specialists in retail printing solutions from point of sale design to large format digital printing. So if you need graphics for your new store experience or pop-up stall, our retail knowledge and innovation means you can rely on our team to give you a solution that brings your ideas to life.