Running a successful retail company means staying ahead of the game and on top of the latest and greatest innovations in the industry. As these factors are ever evolving and shape shifting with the season, it’s even more important that your business remains flexible and nimble so that adapting becomes second nature and assimilating new ideas and inventions is seamless. If you’re wondering where you should be casting your covetous gazes right now, then read on; our 5 IDEAL retail trends crucial to running a successful business.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHOPPING

By 2022 it’s expected that ecommerce sales will top $6.5 trillion. Big money indeed, but do you know one of the main drivers behind these sales? Social media, of course. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube all play a role in these booming e commerce numbers.

In fact, one study found that 84% of American shoppers review at least one social media network before deciding to buy a product. This is because social media networks offer all sorts of personal, personalised inspiration, including lifestyle experts, fashion bloggers, and other influencers which can shape consumer buying habits particularly impulse purchases. As such, these days many of these sites are working to offer ecommerce capabilities that allow users to make a purchase on the spot and on a whim.

INVEST IN A RETAIL EPOS SYSTEM

The days of slower than snail transactions processed with a traditional cash register have long been confined to the past. If you’ve yet to invest in a retail ePOS system, you’re missing out on several features and improved functionality which holistically benefits your business. What is an ePOS system, we hear you ask?

In the simplest terms, an ePOS system is one which uses hardware, software, and peripheral devices in order to more quickly conduct transactions and track sales. But an ePOS system is much more than a modernised cash register. These systems offer a host of other benefits including automated inventory management, employee management, customer information databases and real-time reports and analytics. A no brainer for any retail business, we think.

BIGGER FOCUS ON EXPERIENCE

In the past, it was enough to simply have a store (physical or online form) that had the products consumers were looking for. But in today’s world, just having trending, ‘must have’ products on the shelf isn’t enough. Now, consumers are all about the ‘experience’ versus the products that retailers carry. Instead of shopping for items, consumers are more focused on the overall journey from first learning about the product to purchasing it.

So, that’s the look and feel of your offer, as well as the smoothness of its delivery and an engaged and informed staff that can assist customers as necessary.

ACCOUNT FOR MULTI CHANNEL

Even though bricks and mortar stores are closing at a fast pace throughout the country, these places still play a huge role in the sales process and shouldn’t be neglected. While customers may not often go to a physical store first, many still like to try on an item or see and hold it in person before making a purchase.

More often than not, consumers begin their search online in order to compare prices or to find local retailers that have a certain product in stock. From there a consumer may go see the item in person before deciding to purchase it. As a retailer, it’s crucial to account for all of the possible ways that a consumer may shop. Whether it’s via your website, through social media, in-store, or while on-the-go, the only way to maximise your sales is to implement a multi-channel approach.

SUBSCRIPTION COMMERCE

Subscription commerce has taken the retail world by storm, and the success of it goes back to the rise of the shopping experience over product. How cool yet simple is it to have food, clothes and even snacks from around the world delivered right to your front door? The lazy person’s dream, for sure, but also the learned’s.

Subscription boxes, for instance, are personal, fun, and are a reliable way for consumers to get what they need on a routine basis. In 2017, 15% of ecommerce customers signed up for a subscription service and once involved, loyalty is all but guaranteed. So, as a retailer, you may want to consider the ways that you can jump on the subscription retail bandwagon so that you too can maximise profits by simply providing a personalised shopping experience.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.