Innovative advances in technology, coupled with seamless in-store shopping experiences, are among the IGD’s top predictions for 2019’s global retail trends.
Toby Pickard, head of Insight, Innovation and Futures at IGD, said: “2019’s biggest trend of all is likely to be the continuation of rapid and radical change in the food and grocery industry. We have already seen a significant pivot towards innovative new technology, and there is no sign of this letting up next year. Shoppers’ expectations have changed, and the retail and grocery sectors are working to meet those expectations in every area of business.”
He revealed that the five key retail trends for 2019 would be: data, and particularly customer data, will offer more personalised shopping; sustainability concerns will change the way retailers do business; stores will offer more seamless shopping experiences; healthy eating and wellness will grow in popularity; shopping opportunities will increasingly be available anywhere, anytime.
This year has seen data become more valuable to the retail sector than ever, with 46% of supply chain experts now actively prioritising data-driven business. As well as helping to boost sales, accurate data will be vital for tools that allow retailers to understand customer behaviour - and reward their loyalty.
Through customer datasets, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in-store, retailers can target products and offers more effectively while maintaining appropriate stock levels and improving customer service. Insights gained through closer customer engagement will provide invaluable guidance to retailers looking to grow their businesses: making stronger connections beneficial to both groups.
Pickard said the past twelve months had seen new, faster payment systems and collaborations between retailers and healthcare providers to encourage healthy eating. Developments such as these are expected to go even further in 2019.
“In 2019 we’ll see retailers think increasingly about making every moment shoppable," stressed Pickard. "A recent innovation was easyJet making it possible for Instagram users to find and book holidays to new destinations, simply by clicking on a photo they have seen.
“Whether through targeted marketing or simple ways to make purchasing more seamless, shopping is becoming not just more convenient but more instant as well.”