The evolution of retail has created such drastic changes over the last decade that it’s difficult to imagine what retail in 2020 will look like.
Oh. Wait. It’s less than a year away. This is actually good news, because it means that the the future of retail will double down on the customer experience, and companies will continue to pay attention to what drives sales – and what doesn’t.
Previously, the vast majority of our products – whether makeup, furniture, or groceries – took place in brick and mortar stores. Those days are long gone.
Today consumer product companies rely on much more than physical brick and mortar stores. Living in the experience economy, consumers demand the ability to purchase items on their terms, whenever they’d like via e-commerce sites, and they expect to be to reach out to brands across every platform.
The shopping experience doesn’t begin when the customer walks into the store – it starts on the internet as consumers are researching products, and on social media platforms.
Retail in 2020 means that retailers need to keep up with consumers, not just on their multiple devices, but on the various platforms consumers prefer.
Following are a few tips on how retailers can stay relevant in 2020.
Retail in 2020: Find me on The Gram
Social media has ingrained itself into our daily lives in ways we never could’ve imagined ten years ago. Evolving from the Myspace days back in the 90s and 2000’s came Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, to name a few.
The Search Engine Journal supplies some staggering numbers: There are about 2.38 million users on Facebook monthly, and 1 billion active users on Instagram. Social media isn’t just for the hip millennials; it’s for everyone. According to Sprout Social, 72% of people who use Instagram are between 13-17 years old, and 40% are between 30-49 years old.
Retailers in 2020 must use these platforms consistently – and in the correct voice on each platform – to stay relevant. As a consumer, I’ve discovered multiple products I currently use via social media platforms, especially Instagram. Although some of these companies aren’t big name brands, social media has provided them with a great way to drive brand awareness and sales.
Goodbye star of the moment, hello social media influencers
On the same topic as social media, social media influencers play a huge role in how consumers choose one product over another.
Pixlee defines a social media influencer as “a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.”
While formerly only big celebrities or public figures were considered worthy of selling a brand or product, today brands are recognizing the power of superstars in niche sectors, and the incredible power that they wield. It doesn’t necessarily take a household name to sell something anymore – authority is created when the leaders within certain areas put their name behind a product or brand.
In a world where big e-commerce companies like Amazon hold a lot of the market share for consumer products, building a new retail or consumer product company can be challenging, but having a social influencer promote your product can make your brand more relevant, faster.
Innovate, then innovate again
One of the best ways for retailers to stay relevant with consumers is by keeping up with consumer trends. We know that no matter how much times change, consumers want the next cool thing, so brands need to continuously innovate, re-vamp current products, and create new ones to keep customers engaged.
Brand loyalty can change in a moment due a bad customer experience, including loss of interest in your products.
Retail is brutal, and competition is everywhere. By incorporating the above suggestions, you won’t have to worry about how to stay relevant when it comes to retail in 2020.