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Retailing Trends and Predictions for 2017

Posted by Jessie G on

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It’s that time of year again–holiday sales are in full force, U.S. customers are emerging from a post-election sales halt, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are on the horizon. Amazon is leading, ebay is fading, and lots of retailers whether brick and mortor or online are wondering what's next?

At Whereboutiqueshop, we’ve been talking about sales and marketing strategies for months. Now that we’re in the middle of it, we’re already asking a bigger question:

What will 2017 retailing trends look like?

We searched high and low; and analyzed retail experts to get their insights and predictions for the year ahead. Some of these experts have worked on marketing strategies with brands like Chanel, Macy’s, Marks & Spencer, and Sainsburys; others have 15 years of experience; one was named a Future 100 and Startup 100 entrepreneur. But aside from those name brands that we all love and adore, vendors or retailers like you and I want to know where do we get in?

Most importantly, we have picked out some key information that should help you get ahead of the curve in 2017. 

Mobile UI/UX Will Take Precedence Over Desktop

Everything for ecommerce and digital marketing needs to be executed with mobile at the forefront.

The growing importance of mobile marketing and apps is shown by these Smart Insights Mobile Marketing Trends statistics:

  • More than 50% of searches are on mobile
  • 91% of Facebook usage (Daily Active users) is on mobile
  • 80% of Facebook advertising revenue is on mobile
  • 90% of mobile media time is spent in apps

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Mobile UI and UX design and upgrades need to be completed before desktop. Mobile traffic is doubling every year, and now, more than ever, consumers want a one-touch checkout. Make your mobile experience seamless and easy to navigate and purchase for the customer and your conversions will increase instantly.

Omnichannel Advocate Marketing Will Boom

Retailers have gotten really accustomed to the idea, if not the actual implementation, of the omnichannel purchase process.

They let customers start shopping on one device and finish on another, or buy online and pick up in-store, and so on. 2017 is going to see omnichannel marketing, and specifically, advocate marketing, 

They’ll need to be armed with quality technology, of course, but instead of just getting a good picture of which customers are sharing photos, referring friends, contributing content, and so on, on social or on your site or app, we’ll finally start to enable these sorts of actions in-store and get better visibility on them.

Bricks-and-Mortar Will Be Cool Again

While ecommerce continues to gain channel market share, offline retail still drives the majority of retail spend.

Ecommerce will still most likely grow at a faster rate, but what we’ll continue to see more of in 2017 is more retailers moving towards an integrated commerce model where the brand has multiple selling touchpoints for consumers to interact with.

For many currently pure-play ecommerce companies, this could mean bricks-and-mortar stores in the form of showrooms, pop-ups and possibly permanent locations.

Expanding offline presence–if done right–provides retailers with the opportunity to form deeper personal relationships with customers and help drive purchase behavior over the customer lifecycle.

 Experiential Retail Will Remain Crucial

Experiential retail provides the ability for brands to further engage customers through authentic experiences—whether they happen online or offline.

This has always been an important part of retail, but we are definitely going to see more of it in 2017 given the success integrating experience has had in retail to-date.

One offline example is Outdoor Voices using its stores to not just sell merchandise but also to reinforce the community elements of the brand by hosting running clubs and other active events that relate to the brand.

An online example would include a brand like Glossier who has had a ton of success featuring real people—including Glossier staff—using Glossier products in videos featured on its social channels. These types of experience-driven approaches will continue to evolve the retail landscape in the upcoming year.

Beacons Will Go Mainstream

If you live in a major city, you will know someone who will have interacted with a Google Physical Web beacon by the end of 2017.

I’m excited to see how Google Physical Web develops–it’s a system that makes it easy for your phone to access a specific URL based on its location.

You don’t need an app to access the content, and it’s expected to be the most accessible location-based content solution. Users can access information when they enter stores, they can request that their click and collect order gets prepared, they can buy from their phone in a few clicks after being inspired by a billboard.

You will also know someone who has bought something through a connected home device, like an Amazon Dash button or a device that reorders its own consumables.

Image result for amazon dash button

Searchable Local Inventory Will Double in the Next 12 Months

It’s a safe bet to say it’ll double because (sadly) only a handful of retailers are offering this currently! There are a few reasons why this will happen.

Customers have more certainty and a better experience when they can see what is and isn’t in stock nearby. This influences customers’ decision over who to buy from, so systems like these pay for themselves.

Customer expectations are being set by the retailers that do offer this service–and the retailers that don’t offer it will start to lose out.

There are also plug-and-play systems that make it easy for stores to make their inventory searchable from smartphones. NearSt is one of these. The area it serves and the number of categories it caters to will grow rapidly in 2017.

 In the End

These are just some major things that will change for the new year to come. The rate of change within the industry is speeding up, and newer processes like these will help retailers keep up and stay afloat as some retailers fall by the wayside. 

At Whereboutiqueshop, we’re also looking forward to 2017. From beacons to better marketing tactics, we’re excited to see how the retail industry adapts to today’s connected consumer. Use this insightful information to adapt how you will prosper in years to come and stay steps ahead to catch the traffic.

Until Next time thanks for reading

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