Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of an article from the Retail Doctor's blog.
NRF is behind us, arguably the center of what's happening in retail. I realize many retailers will want to address the big trends using technology. But success must come from being more human, selling the merchandise in a way that provides an exceptional in-store experience and acknowledging that no retailer has a lock on a product, customer or category.
Here are the top 11 retail trends I think stores need to know:
Thriftiness is the new high. Spurred by Millennials who shop more like Boomers' grandparents, the deal and how much money was saved becomes the bragging point. Customers looking only for a cheap price need associates who can show the value of the premium goods.
Customers are more prepared. Many customers will have done their research before walking into a store looking for one single item. Having an associate who can build rapport and who knows their product will often lead the customer to something even better.
Less is more in design and shopping. Retail stores no longer need to be filled to the brim. Customers are easily distracted and frustrated with too many choices.
Using your store as a showroom for online retailers. Shoppers using their smartphones or opening an app need to be engaged, not ignored.
Generational divides within the labor force. Make sure to train your Millennial employees to relate to Boomers.
Staffing cuts. A retail store designed to work on eight employees but reduced to a skeleton crew tosses customer service into the garbage, while theft from both inside and outside increases.
Customers are coming in with blinders on. With their shoppers embracing technology, both in-hand and in ears, stores must find a way to break through the electronic wall customers are accessing as they walk through your store.
Amazon. Sales tax is a non-issue; the fact more people search there first is. Google is worried that more people are starting their search on Amazon, not on Google. This should certainly worry you.
Stalking customers through Big Data. Dynamic content will further evolve and become so personalized it will be able to suggest the best add-ons for customers to buy online, not just what they've searched for.
Products will find their way to customers in unconventional places. Products, advertised on billboards, kiosks and subway platforms, will now be purchasable with a smartphone while waiting for a subway, strolling on a parkway, or looking at a skyscraper. Disposable income will be affected as customers make spontaneous purchases.
There's just no time. Customers are so time-crunched that browsing isn't seen as an option. When a customer comes in for that one item, associates must find a way to open the entire store to their consideration.
Of the 11 industry trends mentioned in the article, which will be the most challenging to overcome for brick & mortar stores?