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Trend Alert – Retail 2016

Retail is trend focused, in every meaning of the term. Whether you are a buyer, a merchandise planner, or a store manager – your focus is on what’s coming next! Fashion moves so quickly so retailer’s minds are always looking to the future and scanning the market for what trends are on the rise. This theory is not just applicable to product, this theory lends itself to operations and management too.

How are the industry influencers running their business? What new techniques are going to make my head office process run smoother? How am I going to manage my online and offline stores? If you are asking yourself these questions, then it is time to listen up and take note of some of the predicted retail trends for 2016….

Is your head up in the Clouds?

If the answer is no, then it is time to stick you and your business up there!

One massive trend that will headline the modern retail strategy of 2016 is Single View and Cloud-based Solutions. This single solution answers all of my above panic questions. Sales, inventory, and customer visibility all on hand in one solution allows retailers to execute their omni-channel initiatives more efficiently.

Your Cloud Solution should become your Business Bible. It should become one of your basic human needs. Using a Single View Cloud Solution correctly provides endless access and always on data analytics. It allows you to work from anywhere and get real time insights into the areas of your business, so it gives you the opportunity to not let any discrepancies slip through your business unnoticed.

Maintaining an item file, accurate inventory levels, and managing a pricing system between channels is one of the foundational roadblocks for a lot of retailers who are not necessarily managing their stores and their online business with the same platform.

There’s been an evolution. Over the last three or four years a lot of retailers have realized that online and offline are converging and they need to integrate their systems.

(Keith Anderson, VP of Strategy, Profitero)

It’s time to get social!

Retailers need to step up and embrace the digital revolution that has unfolded around them. Social media platforms are sales opportunities waiting to be utilised. More and more research is showing the conversion impact of retailers using social media to showcase products.

A recent survey found that 43% of social media users made a purchase after engaging with that item in an ad on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. It is so important for retailers to employ these platforms as a strategic channel for their sales and marketing efforts, allowing for a seamless path to purchase.

More, is not the answer!

It is a common mistaken perception in the retail industry that the way to satisfy customers is to buy in more product. This may be a solution for a minority group of retailers, but this not the case for the rest of us and it is certainly not going to be the answer as we move through 2016. The retailers who will make progress and succeed this year, will showcase ‘Good, Better, Best’.

Now, the retailers that seem to be winning are the ones that curate assortments. What that means is carefully selecting the top styles, showing the top models, or offering a showcase of ‘good, better, best’ instead of trying to stock every color or every single SKU.

(Chris Peterson, CEO of Integrated Marketing Solutions)