With the rise of successful omnichannel retailing throughout 2014 as the new way to enhance the brand experience, it can safely be assumed 2015 will follow suite. What’s most exciting, however, is that this year will also see a significant rise in moving sales to social media while using the mobile devices as an integral part of the shopping experience among a myriad of other advances.
1. Boomers and Millennials will Drive Retail
Though aging, Boomers nonetheless have a firm grasp on businesses. Needing ease to retain the older generation and speed for the younger, pop up shops combine the two into an indomitable force of easy convenience.
2. Social Networks Offer Shopping
While originally used to promote brands, it seems a logical step to now incorporate the purchasing step to these new sales and promotion channels.
- Pop up events can tie brands to celebrity performances to drive sales.
- Exclusive promotions and deals for your pop up shop can appear strictly through your social media channels.
- Social media can be used to gather information on where to open a pop up shop, when to offer discounts and how to create exclusive access.
3. Retailers Experiment with Technology
This isn’t a prediction so much as a trend with countless new and old brands pushing the limits of what technology is capable of.
- POS Technology
Expect brands to do away with the cash register altogether this year in place of cloud-based POS systems that prove better in functionality, performance and looks.
More and more stores are learning how to adapt this technology to their brand to enhance the shopping experience through the phone. By uploading coupons, ads and product info, the consumer becomes that much more invested in the adventure.
Made famous by Disney, wearables will really start to take the market by storm now that watches connected to mobiles phones are finally out. While they won’t be in ever store just yet, forward thinking companies will be quick to figure out how best to use them.
- Augmented Reality
Still in experimentation phase, these tests in virtual interactive display windows and fitting rooms are hinting heavily that the future of shopping may be completely digital.
- 3D Printing
Already revolutionizing the science world, brands will find no limits when it comes to uses, included testing out different ring mock ups for customers or printing out items that are otherwise out of stock.
4. E-commerce Moves Offline
This trend picked up speed in 2014 and will only continue to gather steam during the current year. While e-commerce is incredibly lucrative, many consumers still purchase goods offline, making a brick and mortar an essential for growth. It will certainly mean fierce competition for prime real estate, however the stores that do make it, will be so much more.
5. Retailers Localize
Localization is the practice of adapting individual stores in a chain to suit the needs of the neighborhood they’re in. A great example of this is O’Reilly Auto Parts. Though a national name, each individual store is also a local store carrying products needed by the customers that visit. On top of this, many big names are also adapting the experience as well. In busier areas, Starbucks is starting to open express shops so their local customers get the fast service they desire. With such an increase in the ease of data collection, smart companies are going to continue to shape the brands to fit the wants of the individual communities they serve.
6. Mobile Expands
The mobile market continues to expand. Loyalty apps and brand services can be used to reward special customers by showing them hidden locations of pop up events.
7. Multiple Channels of Service Are Embraced
Only those companies that completely shun technology will be left behind. As different generations require different types of service, multi-channel marketing becomes increasingly more important. For instance, letting a customer order something online and then pick it up at a pop up shop in a convenient location is extremely customer friendly.