Retail suppliers, brands, and manufacturers alike have witnessed a sea change borne by shifting consumer preferences and new modes of interaction. Far from a “retail apocalypse,” the next wave of change will have consumers experience retail in entirely new ways, with atomized brands offering curated experiences and influencers marketing to specific niches.
The lines between creators, buyers, and sellers have continued to evolve and blur. Influencers regularly launch products in partnership with major brands, and the introduction of ecommerce on social platforms has created a global digital bazaar.
Physical brand experiences and purchase points are still critical in a consumer’s purchase process. The brands and retailers that can most effectively find ways to integrate the digital with the experiential, while maintaining real time visibility over supply chains and consumer profiles, will win.
Moving from recommendation algorithms and endlessly customizable profiles, the younger generations have higher expectations for personalization, service, and flexibility in the way they shop. With the increasing amounts of data they gather, retailers will need to have well-defined strategies to drive personalization both at the product level and at scale.
While value, convenience, and availability were critical factors before, they’re now table stakes. What makes a consumer a repeat customer is a connection with a brand and its purpose. Re-commerce brands have built brands around sustainability while cutting costs from shipping secondhand goods, and as a result have grown twenty times faster than the rest of the market.