- Trend #1: Pervasive Shopping
Pervasive is defined as “existing in or spreading through every part of something.” Thanks to the internet (78% of internet users conduct product research online), mobile devices and new forms of retail integration, such as E-Commerce, QR codes, Mobile PayPal, GoBank, In-store Interactive monitors that give product demonstrations, In-store online purchasing etc., we can now shop anytime and anywhere.
- Trend #2: Retail Curation
A sea of choice is leading retailers to use curation to narrow choice through strategically placed vignettes and offer more personalized experiences to buy and share, like “design a room”, etc. Consumers are growing to expect more custom and personalized experiences and will share them readily with others through avenues like Pinterest or Houzz.
- Trend #3: Story Trumps Product
Salespeople need to become better storytellers. Storytelling takes a fundamental role in creating a narrative that inspires people to buy a (sometimes) undifferentiated product. When products are easily replicated and do not necessarily stand out alone, better storytelling is the secret weapon specialty retailers can use.
- Trend #4: Being Useful Sells
While “conversation” gets a lot of attention today in social media channels, the emerging trend is that consumers buy from companies that provide value by being useful, that is being a trusted source. Often the best value from digital tactics comes by educating instead of trying to have a “dialogue.” At this stage in the social world, I think you have to have a mixture of both.
- Trend #5: Rewarding Activity
“Social Engagement” continues to be loosely defined as brands reward simple activities like clicking a button or showing up. As businesses scramble to engage the consumer, consumers will expect more rewards for activity, but may offer their social capital/networks in exchange.
- Trend #6:Unexpected Honesty
As brand humanity (transparency) continues to be a major macro trend in business, consumers reward companies that are honest. Being proactive with sharing the logic and truth behind your business is a powerful way to build trust.
- Trend #7:Real Time Ethical Consumerism
Consumers now have the tools to uncover which companies behave ethically in real time, to impact everyday purchase decisions. In other words, consumers are getting better at recognizing gimmicks, but they are not quite there yet. Companies that behave in unethical ways can no longer depend on that information being hidden or hard to find.