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The global retail industry is changing too swiftly. The way consumers shop today is much more different than they would do two-three years ago. Apart from the change in consumer behaviour, penetration of smartphones and an increase in buying power is helping the retail industry support its growth trajectory.
In fact according to a Mordor Intelligence report, in 2017, the global retail industry was valued at $23,460 billion. It is also projected to register a CAGR of 5.3 per cent between 2018 – 2023 and is expected to touch $31,880.8 billion by 2023.
However, to be a part of this growth, there are few trends retailer cannot afford to miss. During the sidelines of Retail Leadership Summit in Mumbai, David French, Senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation (United States) shared seven trends with Entrepreneur India that are leading the revolution of the sector:
Soon retail is going to all about personalisation for the consumer and the industry is trying hard to get as personal as it could to deliver goods and services.
French says, “Personalization replicates the experience of going to a corner store decades ago. Additionally, technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will help you enable personalization at scale.”
Voice Recognition Technology
Voice recognition is emerging to be one of the most powerful technologies for retail.
However, according to him, one of the most important questions is whether retailers can master all of the intricacies of getting the voice technology right and this something we need to wait and watch.
Another emerging trend in the industry is localization which is driving the industry’s growth.
French adds, “When I say localisation, I mean understanding every local market and getting your goods and services curated to a particular neighbourhood or block and trying to merge the products with your brand.”
Omnichannel is one of the most spoken about the trend and even French continues to see channel conversions. Digital native retailers and traditional brick and mortar retailers are both spending money to develop cross channel and this will continue.
“Retailers understand - that their best customers shop where ever they want - they shop online or in stores. Data in the US proves if you just shop in stores or only online, you are not good as a customer who shops across all channel,” he noted.
The emergence of technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and internet of thing (IoT) cannot be ignored by any retailer.
“These are powerful technologies that being deployed in distribution centres solving supply chain problems. I think, we will continue to see more efficiency and this will enable retailers to invest more in customer experience,” French shared.
Last but not least - experimental retail is the next big thing in the industry.
“This is certainly a strong trend in the United States where retailers are doing things that are not directly related to retail but are lifestyle oriented making the customer more engaged and involved,” he concluded.