ARE YOU READY FOR 2016? 9 RETAIL TRENDS TO EXPECT THIS YEAR (PART TWO)

February 11, 2016

This is part two of our retail trend predictions for 2016. You can read part one here.

As we discussed last week, consumers want to purchase their merchandise quickly, safely, and hassle-free. However, as we move further into digitizing our lives, security is continues to be a concern as hacking and fraud become commonplace. Streamlined inventory also needs to be able to fulfill both online and offline demands. The following trends help protect both the consumer and the retailer while supporting a more productive shopping and business experience.

via PSFK

6. Omnichannel

People expect their offline shopping experience to be as simple as Amazon’s one-click Dash button. Having a seamless inventory integration across online and offline channels will increase your store’s efficiency and improve customer convenience. Kohl’s kiosks, where you can search inventory and get free shipping on out-of-stock items, and Best Buy’s in-store pickups of items purchased online are great examples of strong omnichannel strategies.

Make it a goal this year to streamline inventory and strengthen your online-offline integration, even if it’s simply adding an iPad in your store to allows users to shop your full product offerings online!

7. Security

The new chips on EMV cards are a big step towards combatting credit card fraud for shoppers, but now merchants who haven’t adopted the chip technology are responsible for chargeback costs. To protect your store from being responsible for any fraudulent credit card transactions, it is important that you adopt machinery to read EMV cards. Contact your POS system provider if you have older hardware that does not support this shift. Even if you are popping up for only one week, you should still pop up securely. Shopify and Square offer compatible readers for under $50.

8. Selling Experience

Many customers have become accustomed to shopping from the comfort of their own homes. In order to lure shoppers into your stores, you need to offer a new generation of shopping experience. Build offline relationships with your shoppers through pop-up shops, brand activations, and a calendar of events.

via TechCrunch

9. On Demand

As consumers begin to expect on-demand, Uber-style experiences, retailers are unrolling same-day delivery to offices and homes. Everlane recently tested one-hour delivery with Postmates in San Francisco, allowing shoppers to order online and receive their purchases almost instantly. How can you provide your customers with the instant satisfaction they crave?

As consumers process ever-increasing options of what to buy and where to buy it, it is important to offer a shopping experience that is quick, convenient, and entertaining. On the shopper’s side, technology in 2016 will offer a customized shopping experience and nearly instant satisfaction. On the retailer side, this same technology will empower merchants with robust data and clearer insight into the habits and opinions of shoppers.

What trend are you looking forward to the most?

Ready to test these strategies out in the real world? Take your brand offline with a pop-up shop.