The retail industry is constantly evolving. Today, this is even more true with the invasion of mobile devices and online services. Technology and retail trends will be closely connected in 2014, when borders between the two will often blur and merge. Here are the top emerging trends in retail on which you should keep an eye over the next one year.
Mobile technology is starting to become an inseparable part of consumer’s life. We now use our smartphones and tablets to research and find products and services, or to order and pay for them. In addition, people often share their purchases on social media websites or rate and review experiences and services. Rising mobile technologies will help further develop this experience. Among them will be NFC, geolocation and augmented reality. That is why companies will be forced to offer better geological listings and make their websites more mobile-friendly.
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3D printing has a huge potential in this sector and it can completely transform they way in which shops operate. That is because consumers can use 3D printing to design products, which the stores can make for them. There are already such mobile applications and entire 3D printing sections in some online stores.
Online shopping for grocery is slowly but surely gaining popularity. Although this is something new in Europe, the U.S. is opening up to the new trend. Still, in the U.K., online food shoppers recently reached 5%. Amazon is also recognizing this tendency. The online retailer introduced AmazonFresh in some parts of the U.S.
Alternative Brand Currencies
More and more companies will start to offer products in exchange for consumer actions. For example, brands will offer rewards to clients if they participate in their newest campaign. Social network sharing will also be rewarded with free or discounted products and services.
It is predicted that over the next five years, about 75% of all mobile sales will come from tablet PCs. Because of that, online stores will try to be more creative with their tablet users and they will try to take the best possible advantage they can from the bigger screen of these devices.
Today, people are living on a faster pace. Their business, personal, exercising and shopping schedules and more hectic than ever. That is why they now need retailer, which can keep up with that. In 2014, many stores will stay open around the clock during peak shopping seasons, like Christmas, for example.
Click-and-collect is a combination of physical and digital commerce. It actually allows consumers to order online and to collect their goods from a nearby store. Next year, this trend will expand and it will include more niches, among which will also be luxury shopping.
It seems that 2014 will be an exciting year for the retail industry and consumers. More than ever before, trends in the sector will be closely connected to the modern technological innovations. Retails that do not keep up with this will find it hard to keep up with the competition.