In time of great global changes from Brexit to Trump, Angelina and Bred, wars and politics the world of trade has its forces and trends too, they change the role of the store, purchasing processes and related retailers and customers. The changes and new trends in trade does not happen just because of the situation and the principles of economy and production, but primarily due to new behavior patterns, needs and customer requirements.
Who are today`s buyers?
It is different and diversified crew - from the older ones with their traditional and simple principles of life and the purchase, through generation X individuals and rebels, family or single customers who know what they want, new generations overgrown with digital technologies and the Internet, such as generation Y or the so-called Milenals, dynamic Peter Pan types where the warmth and experience are valued more than money, up to the latest defined group, under the letter Z, as Zed generation, whose conduct in trade, strategists already described as »shopping in constant state of partial attention«.
According to Planet Retail it is precisely because of these large changes in behavior and the diversification of requirements and wishes of new generations of customers, incurred largely due to the availability and impact of new digital technologies, that retail will be changed in the years ahead of us and become more personalized, faced with greater collaboration and cooperation with customers and more integrated with social media and networks.
A key focus of retail sales in the coming years will be omnichannel - simultaneous use of diverse channels of communication with customers, to ensure the message you send is on the way to buyer, whose goal at the end should be a decision to buy. No matter which industry we are talking about, to be simultaneously in online and offline communication with customers will be important in every aspect of the business.
While the physical store for a long time will remain the dominant way of shopping, it also means that the customers should expect an unforgettable experience and digital experience in-store and beyond. Experience and shopping experience will be of greater valueand the quality of face-to-face (F2F) will have to be raised which may affect the quantity. This does not mean budget cuts when the F2F communication comes, it means smart investments in projects where additional experience can be provided to the customers. The adventure and the experience will follow the trend of advertising in the store through advanced interactive display and / or via mobile devices. The digital world brings numerous options for personalization, aiming for the customers impression that the promotional offer was created and available for him personally. It is also noted that larger stores are increasing investments in advertising at the point of sale - this primarily refers to highlight the category (category navigation) and increased investment in secondary positions and displays.
Shopping without queuing at the checkout will surely during the time become increasingly important, because it makes the shopping experience much easier. Some retail chains in Serbia have already made the first steps and the first store of this type is presented by Amazon and its Amazon Go project.
Sampling is an activity that will experience minimization at the point of sale, whereas this method of promoting products will increase within mini events and specialized actions, as well as in places where it is expected a large number of people, integration with digital communication activities and social media that all together will lead to better targeting and greater efficiency of sampling.
Dominance of physical purchase will be most shaken by power of digital channels, which today must be seen beyond simple online shopping. This broader picture includes a conversation with the customer where it will be necessary to include all channels of marketing and sales. Deloitte research has shown that for each dollar spent in retail, digital activities affected consumers purchase in value of up to 64 cents. For the local price-sensitive consumers actions and discounts are very important, but except chain stores marketing activities, customers are increasingly following blogs, online reviews from friends, work colleagues and family members. Speaking of the Internet, online shopping with home delivery will be a be used more frequently, but not up to the significant point in the close future.
Trend of purchase through smart phones is becoming one of the key elements of the shopping experience. In some markets mobile phones are already used as a standard payment method, and at the local level they have increasingly important role in marketing, loyalty programs and pre-purchase surveys of the customers. The potential of smartphones in the shopping grows from day to day, and it is a key element for a personalized shopping experience, which is one of the megatrends in retail.
With the growth of smart phones and other smart devices usage, influence of social media grows as well. According to some estimates, social network user will spend up to four times more money in shopping than those who are not on Facebook or any other social network. The reason are information and experience they have gained about a brand or message on the network, before they make their decision.
For the same reason, social media will be further used for targeting customers and advertising, as well as the placement of promotional offers and engaging customers, all in synergy with the sales and loyalty platforms. Contests, promotions at the point of sale, large and small events, sampling, will increasingly be linked into and supported through social media. About the huge impact of social networks among the local population, speaks the fact that about 43 percent of social media users, who bought a particular product, did it after sharing or liking it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.
In line with the growth of the use of new technology, transformation will experienced in loyalty programs as well in terms of monitoring the behavior and interests of customers much more, which will allow better targeting on micro-level and personalization of awards.
Awards and promotional offers will keep its importance, and the same goes for the prize winning games which will be more present on digital channels and social media.
Strategic partnerships between brands and companies will receive even greater significance. By combining two or more companies the costs of a campaign will be shared with need to focus on the increasing number of communication channels.
The social responsibility will get additional importance in communication in outlets as well as in other channels. Customers are increasingly turning out to brands that beside of high standards in product characteristics recognize the problems in society and invest their efforts to help reaching the solutions (ecology, care for children, care for the elderly, landscaping of the park ...) and act in social responsible way.
One sales channel who will surprisingly flourish, are the gas stations. With growing diverse range of products, gas stations will try to compensate the less gas prices and to adapt to the new and faster lifestyle. Lower prices of consumer goods at the pump, will increase the importance and competitiveness of this sales channel.
In all likelihood, condition in retail in the coming years will be further complicated with the entry of new major players (including discount chains), so that the relevant communication of brand will have even more important role. Promotions in the store, POS materials, awards, small and large events, will require simple and attractive platform. This will lead to a reduction in their numbers with greater attractiveness.
Altogether, for the smaller and new players in the market it will be increasingly difficult to break through and position themselves, because of the development of large retailers, but also because of the growth and the need of modern and sophisticated investments in product launches and its positioning.