Retail Trends of 2018: A Year In Review
With the growth of technology and even more consumers shopping virtually from the comfort of their own homes, the way we define and think of retail is rapidly changing. Read on for the most eye-catching retail trends of 2018.
Although technology certainly has made shopping a more convenient experience, physical retail spaces are still thriving, especially when companies encourage interwoven methods of buying. Brands like Target have implemented a click-and-collect method, and saw in-store pickup increase by 30% in 2017.
Ulta says omnichannel shoppers spend three times as much as those who only shop in-store. Have you ever ordered your coffee on the Starbucks mobile app to make sure it was ready when you arrived? That’s omnichannel presence in action.
2. In-store Experience
Online brands are taking advantage of brick-and-mortar spaces in order to provide exciting experiences for their consumers. Glossier, an initially online-only beauty brand, quickly gained a massive cult following on Instagram. Since then, Glossier has opened stores across the nation, where aesthetic and Instagrammability are of the utmost importance. Glossier ‘showroom editors’ provide personalized services and help customers find their perfect products (and will take the perfect photo for your Instagram feed).
3. Styling Services
Brands like Nordstrom and Macy’s have invested time and money in employees that are solely available for personal shopping and styling services. While it may seem old-fashioned in the era of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, there’s certainly nothing wrong with some (human) expert advice and a compliment here and there.
Consumers know what they want. And they want things that are similar to the things that they want. That’s where personalized subscription services, like Stitch Fix and Winc come in. These subscription boxes only send products that the brand assumes the customer will like, based on past feedback, online questionnaires, and smart machine learning.
5. Artificial Intelligence
We’re seeing more and more retailers use AI and bots to interact with customers online. 1-800-FLOWERS allows customers to order flowers via Gwyn, their online shopping assistant. Brands like Pizza Hut, Victoria’s Secret, and Kayak have also jumped on the bot bandwagon.
Retail Trends of 2018: In Review
The biggest retail trends of 2018 showed us two things: that convenient shopping technology isn’t slowing down, but that we still value personal interaction in our retail experiences. As we inch closer to the new year, it’s important for us to recognize these trends and lean into them in 2019.