2018 saw the retail world make some huge shifts. Despite the threat of online takeover, brick and mortar stores were more popular than ever, social media profiles became huge ad campaigns, and everyone ordered subscription boxes for monthly surprise goodies. 2019 sees these trends being elevated and going above and beyond to create unique customer experiences. Here are some trends to look out for (to possibly utilize) in 2019.
Customization was a growing trend this past year that shows no sign of slowing down. Being able to modify artwork across various products makes consumers feel like they’re in control of what they’re purchasing, and when they feel like they’re in control they’re more apt to buy. Customizable clothing and home decor is proven lucrative because it directly advertises to a customer’s personality. This can be as simple as choosing the print and border on a customized printed patch or mixing and matching the temples and rims on a pair of glasses.
Artificial intelligence has seen a rise in popularity over the course of the year, but we’re still far from living in a world like Humans. Instead, retail business have started using integrated AI in mobile apps and websites to create personalized customer experiences. For example furniture retailers are using apps that allow customers to place 3D models of pieces in photos of their own home. Clothing brands have being using AI to find clothing for customers not only based on fit and size, but on the weather of the customer’s current geographical location as well.
Although brick and mortar’s haven’t been replaced by ecommerce, in 2018 both retail markets where incredibly profitable. That’s why in 2019 a seamless online and irl experiences is predicted to appeal to consumers needs. This could take the form of finding out which row and aisle a product is in with an app, or ordering something online and picking it up in store (which often saves customers shipping costs). Seamless integration of off and online commerce also enhances a customers sense of control as they can make purchases when and where they so desire too.
Subscriptions have been on the rise in the past few years because not only is snail mail making a comeback but they also cater to the receivers specific interests or hobbies. 2019 will see the simple subscription box get a major upgrade. Most retailers are already sending subscriptions with branded packaging, but some are taking things up a notch. Some companies are including things like magnetic name badges to make their customers feel like they’re a part of the team, or bonus free samples of products that subscribers may be interested in based on their current boxes. The biggest trend in retail for 2019 is, as always, making sure the customer is pleased with their product choices and instilling confidence to further brand loyalty.