According to David Mattin, Global Head of Trends and Insights at TrendWatching, every CEO, senior executive, CMO and CIO is obsessed with the future of retail in 2019 and beyond! But not consumers, billions of them. Consumers don’t go through the day with terms like ‘omnichannel’, ‘m-commerce’, or ‘mobile responsive’ floating around their heads.
Though, while consumers may not care about the future of retail, says the report, they’re still busy creating that future. Their expectations never stand still. They want greater convenience. They want better value. They want excitement, meaning, status, relevance, authenticity, social connection and more.
It’s the relentless consumer quest to fulfill those needs that drives every change we see in the retail arena, says the report. The demise of Toys R Us. Alibaba’s record USD 25 billion Singles Day. JD.com’s pledge to open 1,000 physical stores a day in 2019. Amazon delivering to the trunk of your car.
This report highlights five key tactical trends that are reshaping consumer expectations in 2019 and beyond. These are trends that you can use, says the report. Trends that can fuel your next winning product, service, campaign, experience, platform, business model and more.
1. MAGIC POINT OF SALE Consumers now expect to summon retail brands as they would a genie from a lamp. The impact of mobile-empowered consumers is STILL playing out., says the report. Better m-commerce stores, better direct-to-consumer apps (Nike's SNKRS is the poster child) and the admittedly later than expected arrival of meaningful AR experiences are all reframing expectations when it comes to how, where and when customers can engage with your brand. That means summoning an on-demand MAGIC POINT OF SALE that allows them to engage with your brand, browse products, test and purchase in innovative new ways.
2. DEEP RETAILIn 2019, smart retail brands know their customers better than customers know themselves. In the retail universe of 2018, data is gravity. It's the fundamental force that draws retailers and consumers together. Its presence or absence shapes pretty much everything. For years now every customer with a smartphone has been a human data source, endlessly spinning off the GPS information, says the report. Likes, searches, purchases, views and more that allow retailers to know them better. In 2018, consumers will expect retail brands to put new forms of data to work, emotional data, eye tracking, DNA and more, to offer personalization that proves they know customers better than customers know themselves.
3. CULTURE CLUBS Your internal culture is your brand. So do more to help your people flourish. Consumers will demand retail brands do more to promote the flourishing of their own staff.In 2018, consumers will seek out, engage with and recommend retail brands that build better internal cultures for their own people. That means building CULTURE CLUBS that find new and innovative ways to protect, reward and promote the flourishing of all kinds of staff.
4. A-COMMERCE From discovery to delivery, retail brands are automating the customer journey, with 'automation' and 'retail' in the same breath, says the report.In 2018 shoppers are outsourcing a whole host of retail experiences to algorithms, automation and smart devices: that means the automation of hunting, negotiating, purchasing, delivery arrangements and more.
5. PRACTICAL POST-DEMOGRAPHICS Inclusive marketing is no longer enough. Time to reimagine everything you do around true diversity. Consumers will demand that brands reimagine their offerings around the wants and needs of a truly diverse set of customers. That means products, services, physical spaces, and engagement processes that cater to everyone, including traditionally marginalized groups. In 2018, consumers expect to summon retail experiences as they would a genie from a lamp, called forth from a smartphone, personal assistant, smart speaker, or even from the physical environment itself, to engage with your brand, browse products, test and purchase in innovative new ways.