What Consumers Want – 2018
With the closure of so many retail stores in recent news, we might wonder if brick and mortar stores are becoming a thing of the past. A more accurate assessment is that they are changing to accommodate current trends.
In a recent National Retail Federation article by Katie Jordan, five retail concepts to watch for this year were outlined. These are research-backed trends outlining what consumers want available to them when they shop. Below is a condensed list of the findings.
The ability to buy online, but pick up in the store. (I did this recently with a refurbished computer and found it quite convenient!)
The ability to “talk” with a virtual assistant. (Like Alexa) This helps with researching what it is you are looking to buy.
Availability of “showroom stores”. These stores provide samples but do not have inventory on hand. Interestingly, I encountered one of these showroom stores when I visited Italy a few years ago. Customers could view models with dresses and then order what they wanted to buy, without having to tote packages home.
The ability to try out products before purchasing (Experimental Retail).Already being used in many retail stores (think cosmetics), this is now being expanded, like offering cooking classes in a store that sells cookware.
Availability of food service On-Site. Many consumers enjoy eating while shopping, so retail stores with on-site cafes are becoming increasingly popular, especially among younger shoppers. It’s a form of entertainment as well as a shopping expedition!
Change is inevitable. Stores that survive are the ones that stay abreast of customer needs. Are you meeting your customers’ needs?