The world of retail has always been uncertain and full of mysteries. Things in retail are complicated; sometimes, they’re swiftly changing, whereas sometimes they’re contradictory. The consumers are unpredictable, which makes things difficult for retailers across the globe.
The rise of digital over the last couple of years fed the idea of online retail completely replacing offline shopping. But here we are in 2020, and retail trends in 2020 suggest that brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay and will fight tooth and nail with online stores.
So, what’s up with the retail sector this year? Let’s find out.
It’s not about the millennial customer
One of the mistakes retailers make is to focus their marketing strategy on millennials. They feel millennials are the only demographic to base marketing strategies on, which, of course, is the wrong strategy. Retail trends in 2020 suggest that brands should focus on other buyer groups as well, such as GenZ and baby boomers. Baby boomers are going digital and shopping online, and GenZ comes out as no surprise.
Brick-and-mortar trends were always focused on baby boomers, but physical store owners are also looking for ways to connect digitally with their customers.
Content remains to be the king
Content marketing remains to be one of the hottest retail trends in 2020. No one likes being sold to, so cold calls & emails and paid ads are likely to be less effective. Content marketing, on the other hand, gives you the chance to engage your customers based on their journey as a buyer. If you manage to create content that is full of inspiration, engagement, and entertainment, you are likely to generate more leads and conversions.
Brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay
Brick-and-mortar retail trends indicate that online is not the only option. Companies should also focus on building foot traffic to their offline stores. This holds true for brands in fashion and furniture businesses. In fact, fashion retail trends in 2020 suggest that companies with a powerful offline presence might outperform retailers relying on online selling only.
Don’t forget the basics
Retail trends come and go, but one thing that has remained unchanged is why a customer becomes a customer. Most customers still choose a brand for the experience it offers over the quality it provides. That’s the reason why digital retail, despite being on the rise, will not be able to replace offline stores.
People visit stores to get a pleasant in-store experience, something which online stores can’t match. Fashion retail trends in 2020 suggest that brands should focus on their core principles: control, community, and competency.
The rise of technology in retail
Many retailers are focusing on the virtualization of their products online. It helps you engage your consumers by providing them an in-depth, realistic overview of your product features. The use of virtualization can be extremely beneficial for retailers in the home decor, fashion, and real estate business.
Virtualization can increase your conversions by 20%. Businesses can provide their customers with visual details without asking them to come over, which could significantly boost the customer experience. This trend can be helpful for business owners who are finding it painful to transition from physical to digital means of retail.
Engagement is still critical
Retail trends for 2020 indicate that brands that would succeed in engaging their customers will waive the flag of victory. Social media will continue to play a crucial role in interacting with consumers. Apart from social media, virtualization, SEO, and personalized content are some trends to embrace if you want to grab the attention of your customers.
The retail industry professionals, such as furniture makers and fashion designers, grew up in the physical world. On the other hand, consumers nowadays are mostly millennials who grew up in the digital world. Therefore, retailers must bridge the gap between them and consumers through social media.
Having a social strategy is vital to install the element of personal engagement in the shopping experience. So, if you haven’t caught up with your website and social media strategy yet, now is the time. Put the effort in creating digital experiences that attract consumers to your brand.
The power of outdoor
According to brick-and-mortar store trends, retailers in the home furnishings and fashion business can leverage the outside world. If your business relies on visual selling, outdoor advertising can go a long way in attracting people to your brand. When you present your products online or in-store, focus on stimulating visual arousal because most customers buy what they see.
Don’t overlook your competitors
Keep in mind that search is as much about your competitor as it is about you. More than 70% of search ad buys have competitors’ keywords taken into account, and the trend is increasing.
Your search campaigns should be people-focused and not product-focused. Research suggests that close to 90% of customers will check your reviews before making a final purchase decision, even if the reviews are from strangers. Therefore, when you’re developing a strategy for sales, marketing, or SEO, make sure your competitors’ keywords and product reviews are part of the equation.
As discussed before, offline shopping is going nowhere. For a long time, many saw the future of retail as a cutthroat competition between offline and online sales. But the latest brick-and-mortar retail trends suggest that it doesn’t reflect the exact way people want to shop. A consumer might start their search online, compare prices, check reviews, and then visit a brick-and-mortar store to check the product in-person before buying.
Therefore, the multichannel approach is becoming an increasingly crucial strategy for retailers. You should offer your customers the option to purchase online as well as buy in-store. When it comes to selling online, don’t just stick to eCommerce. Social selling is becoming popular as more and more people are buying directly from social media. Multichannel selling gives you a significant advantage over retailers that are only online or brick-and-mortar stores.
The rise of DTC brands
Direct-to-customer (DTC) brands have been on the rise over the years. But now they’re here, revolutionizing the retail industry. Some of the DTC brands have reached unicorn status, indicating a $1 billion valuation.
DTC brands have continued to learn from traditional retailers by recognizing the potential of eCommerce and then opening up physical stores to complement them. Besides, brick-and-mortar retail trends suggest that there will be more DTC brand stores than distributor retail stores in the future.
Brick-and-mortar is now at the core of the strategy of DTC brands, with footprints varying to one or two outlets like Everlane, to a couple of hundred like Casper. Brands have recognized offline stores as an essential piece of the puzzle. But that doesn’t mean eCommerce sales will slow down. DTC brands are looking to strike a perfect balance between online and offline sales to acquire share over distributors and third-party retailers.
The digital age in retail is full of inspiration and growth, and it’s worth the wait to see the innovations lying ahead. But that doesn’t mean offline stores are going anywhere. In fact, DTC brands are increasingly investing in offline outlets, thereby giving a hard time to offline-only or online-only stores.