The New Year is just around the corner, and businesses everywhere are looking back at 2021 and planning next year's strategy. Not only is it important to look at your past data, but you should also look at up-and-coming trends within the retail industry.
From virtual shopping to private labels, the in-store experience, technological advances and the resale market, we're looking at a few of the most significant projections for retailers everywhere.
Increase In Online and Social Media Shopping
Now more than ever, people are shopping online. In 2020 alone, global ecommerce sales grew by over 27%, totaling over $4 trillion. Although fueled by the pandemic, this trend was already beginning to rise before 2020 and is only expected to continue.
In addition to ecommerce, sales are also increasing on social media. With platforms like Instagram now offering a shopping tab, it has become one of the most effective social platforms for increasing retail sales. Since rolling out the shopping feature toward the end of 2016, Instagram has seen over 60% of its users purchase products on the platform.
Many retailers are also rolling out other mobile options, including mobile payment processing. This offers convenience and limits the interaction customers have with employees. Between the pandemic and the quick-moving culture of shoppers, this expedited, low-contact payment option is becoming increasingly popular.
When it comes down to it, omnichannel retailers are the ones who will benefit the most. The more platforms you use to sell your products, the more consumers you can reach, and, in most cases, the higher your sales will be.
The Demand for a Convenient (And Quick) Shopping Experience
There are two main factors to any shopping experience: the products and the experience. In recent years, the shopping experience has become increasingly important to consumers. Whether in-store or virtual, customers want one thing throughout their shopping experience: convenience.
Brands everywhere are testing concepts like smaller and more streamlined locations. Some stores only sell a limited line of products. This allows them to offer a more personalized shopping experience.
It can also help brands demonstrate their expertise in specific products and services, making them seem more specialized and trustworthy than if they offer a broader range of products.
Smaller stores mean lower costs for retailers. Whether it's paying for the space itself and having to hire a fewer number of employees, retailers are reaping the benefits of a simplified, niche concept.
Advanced Technology & Automation
When it comes to back-end operations, the retail market is still coping with the supply chain effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have turned to technology like artificial intelligence, saving retailers over $300 billion each year.
This type of technology also allows retailers to personalize their shopping experience for consumers. Artificial intelligence (AI) paired with other technology like augmented and virtual reality (VR) and robotics, can give the retailers who use them a major edge over competitors.
Augmented reality (AR) allows customers to mimic the in-store experience from the comfort of their own homes. They can even try on products virtually before purchasing them. This continues the convenience trend seen within all aspects of retail operations.
Growing Interest in Resale
When it comes to retail trends, the resale industry continues to grow in popularity as it’s expected to top $40 billion next year. Resalers not only offer consumers budget-friendly options, but they also promote sustainability. Some even allow consumers to make money back on the gently used products they no longer need.
Winmark® brands Play It Again Sports®, Plato's Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Music Go Round® and Style Encore® purchase these items and offer superior value to sellers and shoppers alike.
Our 100% franchised system has been around for over 30 years, and our growth is proof of the rapidly growing resale market.
Ready to join a retail franchise in line with today’s trends?
There has been no better time to start a retail business. With all these trends to take advantage of, channels to reach consumers and innovative supply chain options, retailers who adapt accordingly are in for big success in the coming years.
Are you looking to join a retail franchise with a proven track record and a strong support system for franchisees? Contact us today to learn more about Winmark franchising opportunities!