The answers featured below come from Total Retail's fourth annual Game Changers issue, sponsored by Emarsys. The goal of this issue is to highlight the entrepreneurs and startup businesses that are disrupting the traditional retail industry, whether it be it through digital innovation, unique product, enhancements to the supply chain, or a multitude of other ways. We asked this year's game changers the following question: What's your forecast for the retail industry in 2019? What should retailers be preparing their businesses for? Here are some of their thoughts:
Eve Ackerley, Co-Founder, Jenzy
U.S. retailers report a return rate of approximately 30 percent for online sales, with poor fit cited as the No. 1 reason. Processing returns is costly. Jenzy’s long-term goal is to create a sustainable business model that leverages a data-driven shopping experience to reduce our carbon footprint and eliminate spending on unnecessary processes (e.g., returns).
A great example of how fit technology and e-commerce is evolving is the new Apple ARKit that was released in June. Retailers should be thinking of how to leverage this technology to increase customer confidence while shopping (and increase sales conversion rates), as well as eliminate returns due to poor fit.
Zak Normandin, Co-Founder and CEO, Dirty Lemon
We’re at a place in the industry where direct-to-consumer is essential, so companies need to move beyond this model to be successful. We believe conversational commerce (which we’re calling c-commerce) via text message is the communication tool of the future. C-commerce takes direct-to-consumer post-web. Our c-commerce model creates and maintains a unique conversational flow with the consumer, discarding volume-driven interruption marketing.
We’re able to be consistent across all selling mediums — i.e., our customer receives the same heightened experience whether they’re texting to order, DM’ing us on Instagram, or going to a physical activation, which our customer really values.
Roth Martin, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Rothy's
Consumers are becoming more aware and conscious of companies’ ethics, not only in their culture but also in their product and supply chain. With this demand for transparency, we believe there will be an uptick in brands that lean towards more sustainable and ethical business practices in order to make consumers who shop by their values feel confident about their purchase decisions.
For more insights on a variety retail-related topics from Ackerley, Normandin, and Martin, as well as Total Retail's other 2018 Game Changers, download the full report today!
Related story: Total Retail's 2018 Game Changers List