When it comes to trends in the industry, it’s imperative to stay on top of your game as nothing stays the same for long. We’re in an ever-changing industry on a global scale where the world around us makes a big difference. From the way we socialize, to our politics and so much more that seem like every day things, affect our businesses.
Recently we attended a great webinar from Rakuten Fits Me about 2018’s top trends and the retailers who are excelling at them. While they covered everything from Asian Trailblazers to Off-Price Deception, we wanted to dive in to the 5 main trends that we think every retailer should be familiar with across the board.
In today’s world, we want to make sure we matter. Not just to family and friends, but to companies and our leaders. It’s much easier now to make your mark on the world with social media and the consumer is no longer willing to spend money at a company that doesn’t show any interest beyond selling their product.
77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience [Source: Forrester]
Optimizing your website, promotions, and more builds the customer relationship and helps enhance the overall customer experience. With a better user experience, you will see an increase in site visitors, time spent on site, viewed pages, as well as a decrease in page bounces; resulting in bigger conversion rates.
2. Mobile Obsession
More people own smart phones than ever before and it’s these hand-held computers that are changing the retail game. While majority of consumers still wait to purchase something they saw in an email or ad on their computer or laptop, their mobile device is the start of it all.
When people search on mobile, it tends to lead to action: 92% of those who searched on their phone made a related purchase. [Source: Think With Google]
If you haven’t already, maximizing your budget for mobile marketing is crucial for a competitive edge. Is your website mobile-friendly? How about promotional emails? Having mobile-ready content that’s clear, easy-to-navigate and ready for any mobile device is critical in 2018.
You also can’t ignore your social presence either.
73.4% of users follow a brand because they’re interested in the product or service. [Source: sproutsocial]
3. AI in Today’s World
Customers no longer have to worry about time of day or location when shopping and can purchase whenever, wherever, and however they want. Because of this, and along with trends 1 and 2, companies are looking into artificial intelligence (AI) for their marketing and data needs. Not only can AI provide businesses with powerful insights and advance analytics, but this type of data will open opportunities to use AI for a more in-depth shopping experience.
Tools like Asos’ shopping match, where you can upload an image from the web, magazine, or from anywhere else and get similar options from their site is just a start. The future is now and finding out how AI can help enhance your business is a venture to start looking into.
4. Credible Sustainability
Adapting your business to a new age is never simple, but with over 92 million millennials in the U.S. [Source: Goldman Sachs] alone, it’s easy to see why it’s important. This new generation is very eco-conscious and believe in all-around wellness, and they expect the company they spend their money on to have the same focus. It is no longer about blind brand loyalty. If you want this younger generation to keep coming back, you must think green.
70% of millennials are prepared to make personal sacrifices to make an impact on issues they care about, even if that means paying more for a product. [Source: Cone Communications]
Whether it’s keeping things local and giving back to your community or something on a more global scale, going above the profits is what will keep you on top.
5. Think Like a Start-Up
You can be a big conglomerate business or even a smaller steadfast company, the one thing you should have in common is thinking like a start-up. In this day, it’s the small start-ups that are having innovative breakthroughs and leaving the industry leaders in the dust. To stay relevant, the big players are realizing that these successful and ground-breaking start-ups have the right idea or ideas.
How do these young businesses succeed with little to no money, experience, or resources? They think differently. They’re curious, unafraid, and don’t worry about the status quo. They rely on letting their full creative potential out and strive to breaking the mold. Learn to adapt easier, grab opportunities faster and take a look at the new talent out there for continued success.
In conclusion, this market is always changing. The trends listed here, and others could be irrelevant or even more complex next year. The goal is to always be aware of what’s happening in our world and open to changes that can benefit your company, not just trying every trend that comes out.