Revolutionizing Retail: Game-Changing Trends of 2024 and Beyond
During the five-day holiday weekend spanning from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday last year, 200.4 million consumers shopped, setting a new record both in the number of people shopping and the amount spent — online sales rose 7.8 percent from 2022 to $38 billion.
With 2024 upon us, retailers find themselves on the brink of a transformative era. From the swift integration of technology to the growing emphasis on community engagement, the new year marks a crucial juncture for retail enterprises globally.
Let’s dig into the three trends that will have the most impact on retailers in 2024.
Foster Connections to Enhance Community Engagement
Retailers must place a heightened emphasis on community engagement to foster deeper connections between their customers and the sources of their products. This is critical as 61 percent of small business owners attribute over half of their annual revenue to repeat customers. Moreover, a mere 5 percent increase in customer retention yields, on average, a substantial 25 percent surge in business profits.
This connection can be facilitated through things like interactive events and educational sessions, providing customers with insights and curiosity into the origin and narratives of their purchases. Additionally, the integration of multimedia platforms within physical stores can further amplify these efforts, ensuring customers are well-acquainted with the products and brands.
Leverage Technology to Revamp Loyalty Initiatives
Retailers should be leveraging technology like artificial intelligence to redefine loyalty programs. Moving beyond traditional incentive structures, AI-driven programs can use data to predict and understand what customers are buying, giving retailers an advantage to personalize offers and experiences. Starbucks stands out as a prime example of a thriving loyalty program that skillfully incorporates this approach. Leveraging the power of AI, the company’s rewards initiative adeptly analyzes customer data, delivering tailor-made offers and rewards that align with individual preferences.
Additionally, the implementation of AI can give retailers a better sense of their supply and demand, enabling them to minimize back-stocked products and ensure their shelves are full of items consumers want to buy.
Establish an Interconnected Retail Environment
A significant uptick in the adoption of electronic shelf labels (ESLs) across various sectors of retail is also something that I think will be prominent in 2024. ESLs are poised to revolutionize the way pricing and product information are displayed and managed, offering real-time updates and aligning online and in-store pricing strategies, which can enhance operational efficiency by facilitating swift price changes and reducing manual labor costs. Moreover, the transparency and accuracy provided by ESLs are likely to improve the customer experience, fostering trust and convenience. This enables customers to make better decisions since they have more information right at the point of purchase. The integration of ESLs represents a broader trend towards a more interconnected retail environment, where digital and physical elements merge to meet consumer expectations.
As the retail industry evolves, 2024 holds the promise of innovation, forging deeper connections, and navigating a dynamic retail landscape.
Luke Henry is vice president of Markt POS, the first all-in-one, cloud-based retail point-of-sale (POS) software dedicated exclusively to the needs of small-to-medium-sized grocery and specialty markets.
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Starting his career in software development in 2010, Luke Henry, General Manager of IT Retail and VP of Markt POS, has consistently been driven by a commitment to excellence in service and technology. In 2015, he co-founded Markt POS, dedicating seven years to crafting a point-of-sale, inventory, and payment solution that revolutionized grocery business operations. Luke's journey with Markt POS, during which the company expanded to over 800 customers, was fueled by a customer-first approach and a deep understanding of grocers' needs. His expertise, spanning web development, sales, marketing, and business strategy, is underpinned by a passion for marketing and strategic planning. In his current role as the Grocery Vertical Leader at POS Nation, Luke leverages his deep industry insights and passion for innovation to drive Markt POS forward, empowering grocers to thrive.