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The Road Ahead: Retail Industry Trends for 2015

Image of 2015 - The Road Ahead

The retail environment continues to become more dynamic as we move into 2015: Consumers expect flexible buying options through a multitude of channels, and we see more and more retailers offering more buying options than ever before to stay competitive. Retailers should be aware of the changes and trends that will be coming to the retail environment in 2015.

In this blog, I examine some of the major trends and predictions for the retail industry that industry experts expect to see in the upcoming year.

If you are in the retail space, I am sure you heard the buzz-words, omni-channel retailing, big data, and mobility. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, get ready – they will play a big part in 2015!

  1. Omni-channel retailing. This strategy focuses on the consumer experience by giving consumers multiple buying channels and the ability to shop, compare pricing, and complete transactions on their own terms. This is done through a seamless integration across all retail operations whether that is through a brick-and-mortar store, mobile device, website, and so on. Read the blog, Retail the Consumer Way – Follow the Path to the Omni-Channel Grail,
  2. Big Data. Big data has been talked about in the retail industry for quite some time now, but we still saw the use of Big Data in 2014. In short, it is a data set that is too large and complex to process using traditional methods and requires complex systems to analyze the data. We see retailers leveraging big data to implement dynamic pricing, customer buying trends, inventory controls, and much more in 2015.
  3. Mobility. Having a mobile retail strategy, whether that is improving website design, deploying an email campaign, and/or creating a mobile app, retailers agree that it gives them a competitive edge. Interestingly enough, in today’s retail environment, while “only about 6% of retail sales (on average) are generated through a mobile channel, more than 8 in 10 retailers say that having mobile apps represent a key advantage over the competition,” according to CIT research.
  4. Social Media. Whether you are a fan of social media or not, it is here to stay. Retailers are using social media for brand awareness, promotions, and customer loyalty. According to CIT research, in 2014, retailers indicated that their comfort level and knowledge on how to leverage social media was limited, but we are seeing a major shift as we move into 2015. Specifically, “more retailers consider themselves advanced (32%) or expert (21%) when it comes to social media strategies, while just last year, the majority classified themselves as intermediate (42%) or beginner (16%)”. How comfortable do you feel with using social media? Take a quck survey and let us know!
  5. Mobile Wallet. The use of mobile wallets will continue to rise in the coming year, which brings convenience for consumers and challenges for retailers. According to Chase, “mobile wallets use near-field communication (NFC) chips inside mobile smart phones and tablets to transmit payment information. When a customer is ready to pay using a mobile wallet, they open an app on their smart phone or other device. The customer then enters a PIN and selects the payment account they wish to use, along with any special offers or customer reward programs they want to apply. At the time of payment, they simply tap their device to an enabled payment terminal, and the payment information is transmitted”.

In conclusion, retailers can no longer survive with just a brick-and-mortar store. Consumers are continuously looking for new technologies that will increase their shopping experience and convenience level.

What you think about the retail trends and predictions for 2015? Do you think these are spot on, or do you think there is a bigger player in the game that I didn’t address? Feel free to leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!