By Elvijs Plugis, Chief Marketing Officer, Grozeo UK
The beginning of a new year is crucial for retailers to chart their course, and staying attuned to retail trends is paramount for a successful strategy. This article will delve into six key trends to shape the retail landscape in 2023.
Back in 2020, during a time when “Covid” was the top trending search on Google, the world was thrust into a financial crisis more severe than the 2008 recession. This pandemic disrupted everyday life and strained healthcare systems worldwide. However, it brought forth both negative and positive impacts, notably the rapid digitalization of retailers seeking to adapt to unprecedented volatility. Some, like Food 52, not only weathered the storm but thrived.
Retail Trend 1: Consumers Embrace New Conveniences
Convenience has long influenced consumer purchases, with the National Retail Federation reporting that it affects 52% of buying decisions. In today’s fast-paced world, there are only a few hours to spare browsing stores for specific items. Consumers are willing to pay for convenience to free up time for more meaningful activities, such as spending time with family or pursuing extra work.
The pandemic amplified the demand for convenience at every step of the shopping experience. Shoppers now consider factors like safety and price transparency. They want to know the exact price before making a purchase, a crucial consideration given financial difficulties for many. Moreover, safety is paramount, leading consumers to prioritise stores that offer it over proximity. In this new normal, consumers are embracing a newfound convenience.
Walmart, for instance, responded to this trend in 2018 by launching a grocery delivery service, allowing busy families to save time. Customers can shop from anywhere, schedule delivery, and receive their items in temperature-controlled HomeValet bright boxes right at their doorstep, minimising close contact and reducing the risk of COVID-19 infections.
Retail Trend 2: Rising Popularity of Contactless Payments
Social distancing measures have spurred the adoption of touch-free payments like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and tap-to-pay cards. In 2020, noteworthy statistics on contactless payments emerged:
- Visa’s “Back to Business” study found that 78% of consumers altered their shopping habits due to COVID-19, including using contactless payments and minimising cash transactions.
- Techcrunch reported that 48% of consumers would avoid stores offering only contact-based payment methods.
- Mastercard revealed that 51% of US consumers used contactless payments in April 2020.
Although contactless payments have been available for over two decades, the pandemic accelerated their adoption. This trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2023.
Retailers should consider implementing contactless payment options in physical stores to remain competitive and aligned with this trend.
Retail Trend 3: Supporting Local Businesses
Amidst the pandemic, consumers increasingly sought to support local businesses. They developed a fondness for local brands that resonated with their values and messages.
According to Retailtime, 66% of UK shoppers gained a newfound appreciation for local shops due to Covid-19. Convenience, shorter queues, and travel limitations were the reasons for this resurgence in local shopping.
Lockdowns and social distancing measures compelled consumers to rely on local stores in ways they hadn’t before. This trend is set to persist in 2023, becoming a lasting habit.
Retail Trend 4: The Power of Agile Marketing
In times of crisis, consumer demand and behaviour evolve rapidly. Historical data may not accurately predict future trends. Retailers must place the customer at the centre of their operations to stay relevant, adopting agile marketing strategies.
Agile marketing involves analysing and assessing customer data in real time, enabling retailers to pivot and respond swiftly to satisfy customer needs. It’s all about fast responses, rapid iterations, numerous small experiments, and collaboration.
Retail Trend 5: The Omnichannel Hybrid Store Model
The pandemic accelerated the emergence of a new omnichannel hybrid store model, where offline stores and logistics blend seamlessly. Physical stores remain vital but serve different functions. They are no longer just showrooms; they also function as fulfilment hubs for online channels.
Key elements of this model include curbside pickup, dedicated return areas, customization studios equipped with virtual and augmented reality, high-tech product experiences and fitting rooms, and self-service kiosks for contactless payments.
Retail Trend 6: The Rise of Social Commerce
People spend more time on social media, making it a prime retailer platform. According to Absolunet, 87% of eCommerce shoppers believe social media aids their shopping decisions.
Retailers can set up online stores on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, allowing consumers to shop directly within the app. Walmart has even partnered with TikTok to create a shoppable product experience, enabling users to shop without leaving the app.
In summary, staying informed about retail trends is pivotal for business success. Identifying these trends and adapting your strategy accordingly can give you a competitive edge and elevate your business. If you’d like to explore these trends further, don’t hesitate to contact our Grozeo UK retail experts.
Grozeo is a pioneering force in the retail technology sector based in the United Kingdom, dedicated to empowering retailers with innovative solutions like an online store builder which drives growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. With a relentless commitment to staying at the forefront of technology, Grozeo delivers cutting-edge products and services that help retailers thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.