Five important retail trends to look out for in 2018 were outlined in a recent report by Synchrony using data from a consumer survey carried out in January 2018.
As you would expect technology and AI featured heavily in the list, and here are the highlights below:
1. Voice Technology – 51% Shop Using a Smart Speaker
The report shows that 30 percent of consumers now own a voice-controlled device, and this is good news for retailers as consumers are using these devices to shop. 51 percent of these owners are shopping using a smart speaker. Many retailers are also looking into ways to use voice technology coupled with AI, such as using purchase data to automatically order regularly purchased items.
2. The Car as a Connected Shopping Channel
It is expected that by 2020, 75% of new cars will be connected to the internet. This will mean that drivers will be able to make purchases in advance from their car. This is an exciting opportunity for retailers and many are already investing in location technology and the connected car is a great way to use location marketing to drive additional sales.
3. Using AI to Create Customized Shopping Experiences
Many companies are already exploring this technology. A Gartner survey of IT and Business Leaders carried out in March 2017 found that over half of those taking part in the study expect to be using machine learning within the next three years.
Retailers are exploring AI in connection with personalization, as studies have shown that 51% of shoppers said that receiving a relevant offer from a retailer would make them more likely to shop there more often.
Retailers are also exploring more ways to use machine learning for automating customer offers based on past behavior, managing stock and inventory levels, and personalizing offers, and gifts.
4. Retail Mobile Apps
The Synchrony Study revealed that 63 percent of those in the US, and 81 percent of Millennials, have downloaded a retailer mobile app and the time spent shopping with a retailer mobile app is on the rise.
Retailers have a perfect opportunity to find out more about customers shopping habits and preferences with an app, and are able to present further relevant information and offers through the app, and shoppers love apps because they have access to more offers and the ability to purchase items quickly.
5. Social Responsibility
Shoppers love shopping at retailers that share their values and some shoppers have said they will even stop shopping at a store that is at odds with their beliefs. In response to this many retailers are donating to charities or disaster relief, or working with a group to help achieve their core beliefs.
So there are many considerations for retailers to take into account over the coming year, as consumers embrace technology and information in innovative ways to change the way they shop.