If you’re the owner of a retail store, chances are you use the New Year as an opportunity to re-evaluate your business and to research major marketing trends.
But, we know that being THE ONE in charge also means you have a million other things to do this time of the year: re-ordering, evaluating your employees, tweaking your budget, revamping your marketing strategy…the list is endless.
To help you breathe a little bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest retail store trends of 2016, as well as some upcoming trends you can expect in 2017, and even better, we show you how you can use them to benefit your business.
Trend 1: More Ways to Pay
You may have noticed that inserting a credit card’s chip into the reader, as opposed to simply swiping it, became popular (err, mandatory) last year. Plus, shoppers can now pay with mobile credit card readers, and many stores are also installing machines that accept EMV Cards. In terms of your countertop displays, this means that your shoppers will likely spend more time at your cash register, so they’re more likely to add a few small items to their shopping baskets while they wait. Make sure your displays quickly highlight a new product, and you may even consider a display that offers a coupon for a discount the next time customers come into your business.
TOP TIP: Make sure your displays are informative, colorful, and eye-catching, and be sure to place them as close to the card reader – and as close to eye level – as you can.
Trend 2: In-Store Tablets and Interactive Displays Are On the Rise
Though the trend of adding digital tablets in addition to human shop assistants has been steadily on the rise for the past few years, in 2016 they became almost a necessity. Remember that, now more than ever, it’s easy for customers to research and read reviews of your products online, and they can just as quickly skim through hashtags on social media. Shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores want to feel like they have just as much access to information as those who shop online. To help, we suggest creating technologically inclined and interactive product displays for your store’s floor.
TOP TIP: Your retail displays should direct shoppers to reviews, hashtags, social accounts, and websites they can access from their mobile devices while they shop and wander throughout your store. This way they can feel as though you’re encouraging them to learn everything they can about both your store and your products from unbiased past customers.
Trend 3: Shoppers Will Be Expecting a Fun and Memorable Experience in a Brick-And-Mortar Store in 2017
It doesn’t take an industry expert to figure out that online shopping has changed the retail game in an irreversible way. While the ease of ordering a product online hasn’t necessarily prevented the majority of your customers from still entering your brick-and-mortar store, it does mean that when they do, they’re expecting an experience that’s markedly different – and a lot more personal – than when they shop online. While retailers like Urban Outfitters have gone for high drama by buying Pizza Vetri (whose pizzas it plans to sell in stores), you don’t have to be quite so drastic to make a big impact (though we’d never say anything against pizza).
Instead, focus on a heightened, more personalized sense of customer service, in addition to highlighting the customers who do visit your stores by involving them directly in shopping there. Your retail displays could be in fun shapes, relate to upcoming holidays, or work within a silly theme, and you should encourage your shoppers to pose and upload pictures to their social media accounts under a hashtag. The benefits are multi-fold: customers are having fun, they feel as though your store cares about them and their in-store experience, and their posts will encourage others to pay your store a visit.
TOP TIP: Be sure to repost and highlight some of the best photos on your brand’s social media accounts for even more exposure!
To Sum It All Up…
Now that you’ve reviewed what influenced the market in 2016, and have familiarized yourself with how these trends will continue to impact your business in 2017, you’re more than ready to get rolling on making this your store’s most productive year ever. Never underestimate the power of the in-store experience, especially as your clients really start to see going to a brick-and-mortar location as a special occasion. Take advantage of using custom retail displays to make sure their experience is one to remember.