The retail landscape is evolving rapidly. 2015 saw many changes in merchandising trends, payment methods, purchasing power, and more. Here’s where we see the retail landscape going in the coming year.
The rise of the millennials will continue to affect businesses. Although these young adults came of age during a financial crisis, they now have prime purchasing power. Catering to this demographic is key. The millennial generation tends to be more socially-conscious than their forbears. Their focus is on authenticity: think locally- and ethically-made goods of lasting quality.
Social shopping will become an even greater influence. Whether through submitting reviews through sites such as Yelp, social media interaction with brands, or contributing user-generated content to their favorite companies, the consumer is increasingly involved in creating the conversation. The best bet in the coming year is to create new avenues for engagement, and to listen! Use social media to interact with consumers. Look for new ways to use user-generated content. Monitor online reviews, and respond appropriately. By interacting with your audience, you’ll both gain new business and improve brand loyalty with existing customers.
New payment options are gaining traction in 2016. No longer limited to cash or credit, consumers are increasingly paying through mobile means. PayPal Here, Google Wallet, Android Pay, and Venmo are all new options that are popular with shoppers. Offering payment via app is an easy way to stay on the cutting edge while keeping the shopping experience convenient for all of your customers.