By the BF Staff
From the March/April 2018 Issue

Everyone understands that the retail sector undergoing a significant transition. The growing preference of consumers for online purchases has cast a large shadow of doubt on the future of Big Box stores and shopping malls, which have been a defining staple of the American landscape for decades.

Goodyear, AZ retail sector
(Photo: searchwestvalley.com)

But, so far, emerging trends in 2018 indicate healthy growth on the horizon to retailers who are open to new ideas for creating customer for creating more customer-centric experiences.

According to a recent forecast from Deloitte, today’s retail trends are driven by the anticipation that consumers will spend confidently throughout 2018. Market growth is projected to reach a healthy 3.2 to 3.8 percent, with heated competition among store formats, channels, and players expected to continue.

Consumers are enjoying an ever-increasing proliferation of choices—larger established brands reforming with both online and in-store operations; and newer online or application-based-only entrants are emerging. Not surprisingly, consumers continue to hold elevated expectations for their shopping experience.

For many retailers, the workforce will serve an increasingly important dual in-store and online role. However, retailers should realize that in order to realize profitable growth in today’s highly competitive blended environment—where digital has the potential not only to influence, but also to capture market share—they would do well to contemplate a renewed strategy.

As a result of today’s retail trends, companies should consider recalibrating business levers, such as customer behavior analysis; value proposition recalibration; and operational model redesign.

Pragmatic adoption of advanced technologies presents retailers with ample opportunities to innovate across their value chains. According to Deloitte, here are some key trends:

  • Inventive business partnerships have the potential to generate additional revenue streams while providing an ever-changing experience where the consumer feels in control of their journey
  • Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity could empower consumers to check store inventory online while in transit and reserve products for purchase or pickup
  • Digital demand and supply networks might shorten timeframes and reduce costs for at home or in-store deliveries
  • Augmented, virtual, and mixed reality may help retailers further create an endless aisle and offer more enhanced options for providing experiential engagement, in-store or at home

Stay tuned, shoppers!

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