I found an article on department store retail trends for 2018. The article briefly went over certain trends that department stores should incorporate into their businesses to improve customer relationships and sales. Those trends were;
1. “Chore” shopping will become easier, but the demand for “cherish” retail will be stronger than ever.
- For this trend, it basically means that e-commerce will still be an inevitable form of profit, but the in-store experience is still just as relevant and should expect to grow.
2. Retailers that enable shoppers to build and customize products will prosper.
- Vend suggested that buy getting your customers more involved such as creating their own design or product will improve sales and widen the customer base.
3. Retailers will increasingly rely on robots
- Retailers have slowly been relying more heavily on robots to do certain tasks within the store. Whether it be from shipping and assembling to having a computerized system within the store to better interact with customers.
- Within this trend, they also say to update/ create forms of chats with customers. Customers really enjoy that they can send the company a message and expect a response, whether it be automated or not.
4. Retailers that step up their social media strategies will thrive.
- People are likely to follow your page and watch your companies “stories.” Within these stories, they should include specials and company news.
- Provide a link to the website so they can purchase things in a more timely manner or the company should tag the prime cities where they’re products are located.
5. More than ever, data will (and should) drive retail decisions.
- Technology is evolving and so should your company.
- Analytics provide valuable feedback on your customer’s habits and moods to help you adjust certain things within your business.
6. Brick-and-mortar stores will continue to flourish
- According to Sanford Stein, “The internet has had a flattening effect on the industry, and as a result, even the smallest retailer has tremendous opportunity to launch and thrive”
7. Healthy and environment-friendly lifestyles will be a focus for many consumers
- More customers are going to purchase the product that is good for their health and for the environment
8. In-home services, delivery, and consultations will pervade the market.
- Provide services such as online order, in-home set up. Provide more than great person to person customer service/online customer service. Take it to the next level of superb great customer service.
9. QR codes will make a comeback.
- Makes it easier to provide a different form of advertising and provide a call to action within that could lead customers back to your website.
10. Retailers that curate assortments will win.
- Create specials that include more than one gift.
- Within one product sneak a hidden gift or a “ for free” product within.
11. Retail store formats will be much more diverse.
- Expect to see and implement one size fits all types of products.
- Create smaller stores from bigger ones
Retailers in the La Crosse area could benefit greatly from these trends. If they simply generated ideas within their business to become more involved and convenient for their customer base. They could do this by providing a URL on certain websites or apps that lead to their website for an easier purchase. Companies could implement additional products within their sales. If they follow these trends it shouldn’t be too hard to increase sales.