Innovative advances in technology, coupled with seamless in-store shopping experiences, are among the IGD’s top predictions for 2019’s global retail trends.
1. Data as a main building block of retail growth
2018 has seen data become more valuable to the retail sector than ever, with 46 percent of supply chain experts now actively prioritising data-driven business. As well as helping to boost sales, accurate data will be vital for tools that allow retailers to understand customer behaviour – and reward their loyalty.
Through customer datasets, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in-store, retailers can target products and offers more effectively whilst maintaining appropriate stock levels and improving customer service.
2. Doing good is good businesses: lead on sustainability
Issues such as food waste and plastic pollution are headline news, and this has translated to changing attitudes across the generations. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of UK shoppers say that they have become more aware of the environmental impact of plastic packaging over the past year, and this has led to innovations such as biodegradable wrapping and plastic-free supermarket aisles. Retailers are no longer thinking about just reducing waste, but want to make a positive, tangible contribution.
3. Physical stores with a more ‘seamless’ shopping experience
Physical stores will offer a much more digital experience in 2019, by using technology to make it easier for customers to find items and gain more product information. 85 percent of UK shoppers would like to see the roll out of more in-store technologies. This should lead to a faster shop for many, where searching aisles and shelves for the right item is replaced by an app that guides shoppers to where they want to be.
Toby Pickard, Head of Insight, Innovation and Futures at IGD, said: “A recent example of this is Il Viaggiator Goloso, a premium Italian brand, which has enabled its electronic shelf-edge labels to show the online reviews and scores products have received. This gives customers a more informed choice in store.”
4. Supporting the health and wellness of consumers
Most shoppers aspire to eat and live well, with 85 percent saying they are actively trying to improve their diet, but aspirations don’t always translate into action. We believe shoppers will be more health conscious going forward, so supporting them to both look and feel good will be a major priority for retailers and their suppliers. This means that both consumers and businesses will be thinking more about wellness and the role of retail in promoting cleaner living going forward.
5. Social commerce: more options for purchasing products ‘on the go’
We expect new innovative social commerce solutions to emerge throughout 2019. Retailers and suppliers will deliver targeted marketing, and new ways to make online shopping more social, instantaneous, and convenient.
Toby Pickard, Head of Insight, Innovation and Futures at IGD, explained: “In 2019 we’ll see retailers think increasingly about making every moment shoppable. A recent innovation was easyJet making it possible for Instagram users to find and book holidays to new destinations, simply by clicking on a photo they have seen. Whether through targeted marketing or simple ways to make purchasing more seamless, shopping is becoming not just more convenient but more instant as well.”
Source: IGD – The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services