Futuristic high tech solutions are headline grabbers. But brands need to capture customers’ attention, hearts, minds and loyalty right now. Here are three top retail trends you can’t afford to ignore.
1 Functional shopping is disappearing
Old-fashioned e-commerce, showing individual products against a bland background, will no longer cut it. Modern retail is about emotion. Brands need to give customers reasons to feel excited, connected and wanting to buy.
Zalando and About You (a fast-growing e-commerce start-up in Hamburg) are getting this right. They’re using visual storytelling, social media influencers and personalised feeds to make fashion shopping more inspiring and engaging.
The keys to success here are really understanding the context that will appeal to your target audience and having the data to measure your marketing activities. The big questions for marketers are:
‘Which personality or social media influencer will give me the most ROI?’
‘What type of content is working on each platform?’
You can only get this level of transparency with precise data. With Spott.ai’s technology every piece of content is measured, from awareness to sales funnel, across every platform. That means that if, for example, you’re targeting 25-35 year-old women in the Netherlands, we can identify and put you in touch with the most relevant influencers for this group.
2 Physical and digital work together
We hear a lot about the death of the high street. But, successful brands understand that physical stores are not in competition with online shopping. The two complement each other.
Digital inspiration can be (and often is) converted into high street footfall. In most of Europe for example, 70-75% of high end clothing is still purchased in stores rather than online. Designer brands still invest in digital – mainly through partnering with influencers. But, what we are seeing is ROI realised on the high street when the physical stores reflect the digital experience.
3 We’re all searching for a style not a product
Modern customers are much less likely to search for an individual product. They tend not to go to Google and just type in ‘jacket’ or ‘boots’. They get inspiration from pictures, articles and videos they see online or from films and TV programmes, and they want to buy into that specific style.
This is not just happening with the high-end, designer brands. Mainstream retailers, such as H&M, Zara and Massimo Dutti are all investing in their brand value by re-positioning their in-store experience to reflect their customers’ online inspiration and experiences.
Customers still want human interaction and physical stores for fittings, expertise and advice. And, the high street will survive in the digital age. But, the successful retailers – online and offline – will be those who are smart about investing in their own content across relevant platforms.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about the future of retail and answer any questions!