Top 10 Retail Trends to Watch – ARC

10 Top Retail Trends to Watch

From novel technologies to changing consumer attitudes, Applause has selected 10 top retail trends to watch.

1 . Omnichannel

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in services like BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store), curbside pickup and BORIS (buy online, return within store). While retailers in many markets have long since resumed brick-and-mortar trading, demand for omnichannel is still high. According to a good Applause survey conducted last November , 66% of respondents said they would shop at merchants that offered an omnichannel experience. Moreover, 35. 6% stated they would actively leave a brand with a poor or unsafe omnichannel shopping encounter.

2 . Social commerce

Social commerce — the act of selling products directly over social media channels — will be a clear retail trend. After the three-year plateau, the average daily social networking usage of internet users worldwide rose again in 2022, increasing from 145 to 147 minutes per day, data from Statista shows.

The more time consumers spend on social media, the more crucial it becomes that retailers adopt a social business strategy. In fact , brands that will don’t possess one are likely in order to fall behind their competitors — fast. According to a good Accenture study , shopping on interpersonal networks such as Facebook, TikTok and WeChat is going to grow three times faster than sales through traditional channels over the next three years.

The particular advantages associated with social commerce are clear. First, it shortens customer journeys, as consumers can complete purchases directly on the platform without being directed to an online store. Second, the particular rise of micro-influencers means that customers can easily find products relevant to their style and interests. In accordance to the Sprout research , 79% of Gen Zers say they might purchase after seeing an influencer recommendation.

To have the most success with social commerce, brands should avoid “salesy” ads. Instead, they ought to include user-generated content within their campaigns and create ads that closely resemble organic content. This way, promotions actively enhance the social media marketing experience rather than posing a good annoying distraction.

3. AI/ML focus

It has been cited as a trend for years now, readers are likely bored associated with seeing AI/ML listed as a top retail trend. Hear us out.

Building truly successful AI applications takes time plus companies are usually still only realizing small pockets of potential value. Based on research from Accenture , nearly three quarters of companies struggle to scale AI because they underestimate the work that goes into training and testing AI properly.

The business advantages are clear to see. Just switching from a traditional contact center solution to one powered by conversational AI may have an average 3-year ROI of 241%, an NPV of $10. 2M and reduce call middle cost by 31%, the Forrester study shows .

If retailers are usually to maximize potential revenue from machine learning-driven personalization campaigns, they need in order to implement an enterprise AI program .

4. Augmented reality (AR)

Since the start of the global outbreak, retailers have got looked with regard to new ways to substitute in-store shopping along with immersive on the internet experiences. Cue the rise of AR: with 3D visualizations, product demos and virtual try-ons, consumers can trial items without leaving home.

However, AR is a lot more than a quick fix solution to make up for lost foot traffic. A research by Shopify found that will products advertised with AR content saw a 94% higher conversion rate compared to products without it. Consumers are also less likely to return items, because AR gives shoppers a much better idea of the particular product and how it fits/suits them. Given its obvious advantages, AR is becoming more than a nice-to-have; 43% consumers in the beauty sector, regarding example, expect brands to offer AR, according to research through Google .

The more commonplace AR becomes, the more digital quality will play a decisive role within the brands customers choose. As the director associated with product management at Google said during an interview : “As technology continues to improve and utilization increases, AR will soon become a good universal language on the web. The best part will be seeing how brands push the particular boundaries to deliver amazing and helpful experiences intended for consumers. ”

5. Direct-to-Consumer (DTC)

With a DTC channel, companies may sell their products or services directly in order to consumers, eliminating the need for intermediaries like third-party distributors.

In its early days, DTC came about as the democratic form of business. Rather than convincing a wholesaler to include goods in its assortment, little brands plus startups could sell in order to consumers via their own ecommerce website. The particular obvious benefits were higher speed to market, more favorable prices and higher margins.

Nowadays, thanks to the growing customer shift toward digital, DTC channels are just since valuable to get major global brands as smaller players. This is because DTC has become less about direct sales plus more regarding marketing. The larger a company gets, the particular harder it is to keep brand messaging consistent, as manufacturers have no control over the customer experience, item descriptions, delivery times, etc . of third-party distributors. A DTC channel is the brand’s single point of truth.

Read more about why worldwide brands are usually investing in a DTC strategy .

6. Visual search

Within 2021, Gartner named visual search because one associated with five technologies set to have a significant impact on digital advertising in the next two to three years.

Rather of typing searches into a search engine, users can take photos instead. In the past, image research functionality was very basic and its use cases minimal. If a consumer had seen an item on-line or elsewhere, but couldn’t find or even remember what it has been called, visible search gave them a way to find this.

Today, the technology will be more sophisticated. Thanks in order to advancements in AI, merchants can analyze images taken for visual search queries and suggest similar or complementary products. Users may also make use of images to search for results that are hard to capture within words, such as outfits that mirror a certain style or even pattern.

7. Livestream e-commerce

Through livestream shopping, client representatives can respond to and execute consumer requests in real time.

This trend is particularly popular in China. Livestream commerce was pioneered by the Chinese retailer Alibaba in 2016 with Taobao Live, which linked an online livestream broadcast with an e-commerce shop. Chinese media reported that Alibaba’s 2020 Singles’ Day event upon Taobao Live generated $7. 5 billion in total transaction worth in the first 30 minutes alone.

However , this trend is usually set to turn global. McKinsey predicts that will live-commerce-initiated sales could account for as much as 10 to 20 percent of all e-commerce simply by 2026.

The advantages are clear. Livestream e-commerce accelerates customer journeys from awareness to purchase, especially if one-off coupons are used to create a sense of urgency. By offering new sales formats, brands also differentiate themselves and attract younger customers.

8. Voice commerce

As of 2021, nearly one third of US consumers owned a smartspeaker, based on Statista . This number is definitely likely in order to grow exponentially. Since the Harvard Business Review explains: “voice represents the particular third key UI plus technology platform of the past 3 decades, following the web within the 1990s and smartphones regarding 10 years ago. ”

Buying through voice commerce is the fastest way to shop. If a voice assistant already has a consumer’s details, the particular consumer need only make the command, confirm it plus the voice assistant deals with the rest. Nevertheless , since a report by PwC found, the majority of items bought via are small items that consumers can buy without having to see them physically. More use cases will likely emerge as voice heads towards mass adoption.

9. Recommerce

72% of sellers believe that buying pre-owned items offers become more common in the particular past year, according to eBay’s 2021 Recommerce Report . Consumers (particularly Style Zs) are usually becoming increasingly conscious associated with what they buy, where these people buy it and who they purchase it from. Previously 12 months, 80% of Gen Z, 78% associated with millennials and 75% of Gen X purchased used goods, the report displays.

ten. Sustainability

Following on from #9, a key store trend can be sustainability. According to McKinsey research, two-thirds of UK and German consumers say that it provides become more important to them to limit the particular impact associated with climate change. To do so, a further 65% declare they will now buy more high-quality products that will last longer. Especially for younger consumers, “luxury” is less about premium materials and more about materials that possess been created responsibly. Already, more compared to one third of global consumers are prepared to spend more money on sustainable items, the study by Simon Kucher & Partners shows.

Looking in order to the future

The retail trends explored above all find themselves in various stages of development. Which styles will permanently shape the near future remains an open question.

Applause works with retailers worldwide to ensure their own digital experiences are exceptional. Find out more here .


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