Retail Industry Trends for 2019

By SME Insurance

Posted 09/08/18

Retail Industry Trends for 2019

The retail industry is transforming, with many large retailers struggling or going in to administration. The recent shock closures of major retailers such as Toys R Us and BHS, and pictures of desolate high streets, have left some retailers worrying about their future [1]. However, figures show that independent retailers are stepping in to take over the stores left empty by the former big-players, with the number of independents on the high street growing in all but two regions in 2017 [2].

Keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments in the industry could help retailers survive. Here are some to consider.

Collaboration

As retailers feel the pressure we’re seeing collaboration between some of the major players.  Take a look at our supermarkets. So far in 2018 we’ve seen a proposed takeover of Asda by Sainsbury’s, which would combine the UK’s second and third largest supermarket, and a strategic alliance between Tesco and Carrefour, the largest retailer in Europe [3]. Looking at ways to collaborate with other businesses can be a smart move, whether it’s to improve your customer offer or even negotiate better prices on stock.   

Customer Experience

According to a study by customer intelligence consultants Walker, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator within two years [4]. You’ve got to grab and keep your customers attention – that’s how brands with experiential stores, like Apple, continue to flourish. Put simply, you need to entice customers away from Amazon, and into your shop. For example, Nike’s flagship store in New York allows people to design their own trainers and test them out whilst being put through their paces by a sports coach [5]. What can your shop offer?

Authenticity and Social Responsibility

Customers these days do not just buy products; they invest in the brands themselves. That’s why customers are increasingly likely to seek out brands who share their values. As a business you need to think about what it is you stand for, and how to demonstrate that. And you need to be real.  Unless you truly reflect your own values, customers won’t buy in to it [6]. The outdoor wear brand Patagonia is a great example of this, aligning their values with their nature-loving target consumer by launching environmental initiatives such as their “worn wear” project, which encourages customers to buy and sell used Patagonia clothing [7]. This demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility that their audience can connect with.

Augmented Reality

Over time there will be more and more ways to integrate augmented reality into your business. Whether that’s utilising chat box on your website or having interactivity in store. This may be a long way off for many independent retailers, but it’s one to think about!

Sources

[1] https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/toys-r-us-goes-into-administration-a3777601.html

[2] https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/03/independent-retail-store-openings-soar-major-chains-face-downturn/

[3] https://www.ig.com/uk/shares-news/tesco-and-carrefour-team-up-amid-sainsburys-asda-deal-180705

[4] https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/03/global-retail-trends-2018.pdf

[5] https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/03/global-retail-trends-2018.pdf

[6] https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/millennials-prefer-to-buy-less-buy-better-buy-authentic/2018030328471

[7] https://instapage.com/blog/building-brand-authenticity

Posted 09/08/18

Author: SME Insurance

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