The world of retail is being pulled between two consumer urges. No, it’s not love and fear, or anything to do with the current political climate. The retail industry is grappling with two consumer desires that are inexplicably opposites: a demand for what’s new and next, and a yearning for the simplicity of the past….
Personalization is one of the hottest topics in retail right now. At conferences like NRF and NGA, the concept was featured in nearly every session, from how to personalize in-store activations, to creating detailed targeting within marketing efforts and fine-tuning your supply chain. Retailers across the country are prioritizing this business strategy, jumpstarting projects that will turn their stores into personalized havens for their customers.
Or will they?
The rules of retail are changing – and you’re probably tired of hearing about it.
Customer loyalty used to be a given if you were located in a typical suburban area. Shoppers weren’t able to easily access your competitors, and yours was the store that happened to be on their drive home. Now, customers are just a few clicks away from their material desires (including grocery items!), and many industry experts have predicted the fall of brick-and-mortar retailers.
The phrase “company culture” brings to mind a certain image of professional utopia. Tech companies with large-scale campuses where employees can take naps in pods or indulge in free beer when happy hour hits, exclusive personal development seminars led by world-renowned speakers, and over-the-top employee recognition traditions all bring the idea of a “perfect” company culture to life.
One of the most-discussed trends in retail is the collective shift toward seeking customer loyalty over a one-time sale. There’s good reason for the conversation: according to a study by Edelman, loyal customers will spend up to 67% more with your brand than new customers. It’s not about bringing new faces into your store in 2019 – it’s about convincing them to keep coming back.
Grocers are aware of the impact of customer loyalty, and are turning to unique business strategies in order to develop that connection. One such strategy is becoming food waste-free.
When it comes to maintaining a successful retail business in 2019, all roads lead back to transparency. We’ve entered a phase of consumer behavior in which honesty is valued even above traditionally prioritized factors like price and brand recognition. As a grocer, this means that you must change your business practices in order to fit this new standard. Without customer transparency, you may not be able to garner customer loyalty – and that could mean the end for your business.
With so many options available to today’s consumer, it’s safe to say that the choices they make about what to buy and where to buy it are intentional. Shopping is no longer all about convenience. In fact, there are many factors that influence a shopper’s decision to purchase from you: including their alignment with your company’s values.
So much of what a consumer does from day to day takes place online. They shop online, communicate digitally, use connected voice assistants in their daily routine, and expect their phones to be within arms’ reach at all times.
Here’s the million dollar question: Is it really worth it to have a brick-and-mortar store in this digital age? All signs point to yes.
If we could look into a crystal ball and predict upcoming retail trends, well, we probably wouldn’t be here writing this blog post.
Though we don’t have psychic abilities, we do have the power of research on our side. After spending time with some of retail’s most influential experts at National Retail Federation’s Big Show 2019, we are fairly certain of the direction that retail is headed this year.
The world of retail is ever-changing. With each year comes a new host of strategies and tactics to consider, new ways to understand consumer thoughts and purchasing habits, and new technology that sets out to make us more efficient and effective.
The one event that sets the stage for the upcoming year in retail is the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, which just concluded its 2019 event. While we took away many lessons about how grocers should adapt to changes within the world of retail, there were a few overarching takeaways that we wanted to call out that affect the entire industry.