4 Biggest Retail Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

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You may face a double challenge as a retail store owner or business entrepreneur: how to create shopper experiences that are as easy (and as fast) as online shopping, and how to create experiences that are essentially better than online shopping.

No matter how good your business skills and in-depth marketing are, you’ll always discover the need for improvement. In 2017, all retail stores will have to step up their game.

Today’s shoppers are looking for more than ever before, and they expect more, and faster. How can you keep up with the ever-changing market?

Here are four retail trends you should know about in 2017.

1. Unique In-Store Experiences

The truth is, most people who shop online will still go out and shop in brick and mortar stores, because they seek an actual sensory experience. It may be less convenient than online shopping, but to some, it feels more real. Therefore, it important to provide your shopper the experience he or she doesn’t get when shopping online. Some retailers have started to take notice and are reaching out more to provide a kind of community that their ideal shopper is looking for.

In Milan, for example, bookstores like Open turn into co-working spaces and creativity hubs. This offers an experience that combines the shopper’s addiction to online shopping, with the need for human contact. Crate + Barrel is another example of combining technology with traditional shopping: tablets offered to shoppers are used to scan barcodes, create wish lists and find items.

2. Sustainability

Today’s shoppers are often more aware, thanks to the big trend toward “Mindfulness” that skyrocketed in 2016. Apps like Facebook make it easy for activists and consumers to share where and how products are manufactured, by way of 10-second video clips. Backstories become essential because buyers want to know their money is being invested in the right places.

Fireside Coffee Co. is adding a personal touch one coffee mug at a time.

Retailers who can be authentic and transparent in their dealings will win over the shoppers of the future. Let your customers know who your employees are, and where and how designs are crafted. Don’t be afraid to take a video camera into the factories and tell your own true story. Where do you source your goods? This information is crucial for your consumers, and they want – and have – the right to know. Your brand must be worth something for them to identify with it.

3. Inspiring Visual Displays

Designing your fixtures for visual impact and a great customer experience means thinking about flexibility. Shoppers don’t want to come back to a store and see the same old thing. They crave new, inventive, and unique displays and products.

Modular and mobile fixtures are now in huge demand, and displays must be able to incorporate mobile graphics or be multi-functional. Displays that can be retrofitted to particular needs and spaces, easily moved around to various locations within a store, and have the ability to change up planogram will be increasingly popular for achieving this.

4. Augmented Reality

Retail shopping and technology will be best buddies in 2017. Keep this trend at the back of your mind when planning your brand and store strategy. It all goes back to personalizing the experience for your customers.

Entice them with something they can’t resist, such as the opportunity to experience your product in real time, known as virtual commerce strategy. Previously used mainly by the video game industry, AR is now reshaping retail channels; many businesses now use AR to give customers quite literally a feel and taste of what could be theirs.

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To learn how you can better connect with your customers in 2017 and make it your best year yet, get more creative ideas and solutions by downloading our 2017 Brand Soul Look Book. We are dedicated to helping you grow sales and create the ultimate shopping experience to inspire your customers.

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