This year’s predictions bear the extra responsibility of looking ahead to both a new year and a new decade. The upcoming year is going to bring us various alterings regarding all the spheres of life, so we are going to meet it all guns blazing.
That stated, it’s not so difficult to make forecasts in this fast-changing direct industry. The actual difficulty is making actionable predictions. That’s what I try to do here, with 2020 judgments on topics from e-commerce to health care. Some of my tips are curated from other business forecasts, and I’ve credited those, respectively.
- Hi-Tech Transforms
Technology advances will bring about more unique consumer experiences, from stores to homes. Especially on the radar now will be advances from augmented reality, or AR, and 5G technologies, as Nielsen states in its forecasts for 2020. One result, as Nielsen pointed out, is that “try-before-you-buy will come into customers’ homes.”
Retailers need to be ready for all the impacts of these technologies. For instance, the in-home trial phenomenon will provide new meaning to the concept of sampling, and smartphones will convert more useful in-store tools as customers shop.
- E-commerce vs. Steroids
Customers are ramping up their expectations about the pace of product shipments, now insisting on one-day or same-day delivery assistance, and even within hours. These expectations are serviced by approaches from members ranging from Amazon to Uber Eats, as perceived in an August Forbes piece by Daniel Newman of CMO Network.
All this puts tremendous pressure on retailers seeking to meet customer requirements. Retailers should ask themselves fundamental issues: Will consumers pay for the extra assistance? If not, do we need to make these investments anyway to endure competitively?
- Sustainability Increases
Customers require more sustainable goods, and this trend has moved well past the fad state. A few months ago, I wrote in DSN about how such retailers as Kroger and Walmart are moving up sustainability attempts on the food side, making it more central to their commissions and communications.
Furthermore, sustainability now is a more substantial deal on the beauty side, as well as a driver for trial and brand switching, according to a September Forbes report by Pamela Danziger. The sustainability stakes in 2020 for retailers will become more fabulous because it’s their younger consumers who are the most determined.
- Health Care Improvement
Retailers have made essential responsibilities to in-store health care, from drugstores to hospitals. A recent DSN article painted stepped up retailer responsibilities to in-store services, ranging from optical to lab work.
Many retailers additional will need to stimulate and improve such applications in the coming year or two because retail is on the front lines of making health assistance more available. Walmart’s recent launch of its “Pharmacy of the Future” pilot is an excellent standard of how to combine technology, services, and customer experience into a significant effort.
- Physical Gets Experiential
By now, it shouldn’t shock anyone that e-commerce is becoming the future of brick-and-mortar retail. In some states, that will mean fewer stores, but just as critical is how in-store procedures will change. Customers still want material stores, but frequently they want different backgrounds than before. We already see new store sizes, layouts, and personalized retail strategies.
But here’s the thing, no retailer has yet decoded the code on what brick-and-mortar retail will necessitate looking like. 2020 will bring new and innovative exercises for how in-store can transform in the age of e-commerce.
To Sum Up
Predictions don’t help if they aren’t actionable. Retailers can take action on each of the five cases I’ve made here. This can lead to competitive advantages in the immediately transforming retail arena.