As we come to the end of the year, we look back and consider the lessons we have learnt in 2018. The key takeaway is not something unknown to retail; the customer is key. What’s interesting is how innovative retailers are shaping retail, creating new exciting ways to delight our customer.
Nike’s new store in New York offers dip dye on selected sneaker styles, or more in-depth customisation with a tailored shop offering trained designers to create custom clothing. Personalisation is equally notable online, 69 per cent of millennials expressed interest in personalised brand experiences. Customers expect functions such as wardrobe suggestions tailored to individual needs.
Customers continue to demand convenience asking for deliveries faster and on their terms. 61% of people now want flexible shipment options, and with 81% of retailers offering free shipping, they want it for free.
3. The power of online sale weekends
Sale events continue to rise in popularity, in Australia Black Friday reached $1 Billion in sales.
4. Customers want to relate to the product
In November The Iconic held their third swimwear catwalk with a true representation of their customer, proudly displaying the diversity this represents across sizes, backgrounds, ages. Showpo is also choosing to connect to their customer through diversity offering sizes 4 to 20, showing the same look on two models.
5. Channel Changes
As customer spending habits change retail footprints needs to evolve and adapt. UK retailer Marks & Spencer has seen its profit rise +6.1% while revenue dropped -3.1% amidst the closure of 24 Clothing & Home stores.
6. In-store experience
Culture Kings recently opened their new Parramatta store complete with arcade games, DJ set, barbershop and basketball hoops. A great example of connecting with their customer and creating a reason to go to the store.
Increased in customer consciousness. The ban on single-use bags lead to 1.5 billion fewer in the environment.
8. The way customers pay is evolving
Two million consumers are using afterpay compared to 400,000 just two years ago. Customers want a variety of simple payment options and do not expect to queue.
Seafolly introduced magic mirrors using radio frequency technology to check stock in 5 mins and suggest products to their customers. ASOS Fit Assistant provides bespoke sizing recommendations on product pages. Technology continued and will continue to differentiate retailers and delight the customer.
Unfortunately there continued to be retail casualties, where the changing customer and the retailer failed to pave a future together. Toys “R” US closed their doors; Roger David closed on the 2nd December, Sears filed for bankruptcy and Gap continues to struggle with reports suggesting they will close hundreds of stores.
11. Growth Mindset
The need for retailers to learn, change and adapt is a critical factor of success. A growth mindset is now essential for retailers.
Many examples of retail success from Showpo opening a new warehouse triple the size, to catch 5 million dollar day, to Alibaba 31 billion Singles Day Sale, excellent customer experience continued to lead to success.