The Retail Trends and Technology That Will Fizzle in 2017
At the start of every year, there's a lot of talk about what the next big thing in the industry will be. Artificial intelligence being one example for 2017. However, there are a few trends and technologies that don't live up to the hype. Total Retail's editorial advisory board shares what specific trends retailers should be wary of in 2017 (click here for a full list of Total Retail's editorial advisory board, including their titles and companies):
Mark Friedman: Ha, I don’t think that anything ever becomes less important. Maybe optimizing sites for tablets. Traffic from tablet devices is declining as smartphone screen sizes get bigger.
Jenn McClain-De Jong: Traditional marketing. The growth of digital is definitely taking over, and this includes social. And store visuals/in-store marketing. Why? Money has to be spent to drive the e-commerce demand and necessary traffic. Spend less money on marketing in stores, but still provide a strong experience.
Aubrie Pagano: Marketing-wise, Snapchat will be less of a focus it seems, as Instagram has done a good job combating the competition for retail brands.
Peter Cobb: Each retailer will be tasked with determining its appropriate pricing policy.
Richard Last: Less important to retailers in 2017, but “coming soon” is virtual reality (VR). VR is exploding for holiday 2016, specifically for gaming and entertainment. As VR is adapted more frequently by consumers, the “killer apps” for shopping will eventually emerge. Smart retailers like Lowe’s, Wayfair, The North Face and Ikea will continue to experiment, test and learn during 2017. Smart retailers will be more prepared for VR when it reaches mass, as they’re building skill set and knowledge now. Will the VR “wins” come from enhanced in-store experiences or rich online shopping applications? Or even from customer experiences we haven’t thought of yet? The picture will become a lot clearer by 2018.
Brian Schultz: Flash sales as a concept are losing steam relative to having the right product in the right place at the right time for the right price. It’s all about customer convenience. Along this line, natural search keyword competition is quickly making the concept of targeted campaign micro-sites obsolete as brands fuel marketing dollars and content into their primary e-commerce sites.
Jim Garlow: Two areas: With continued “fracking” and the discovery of deposits around Texas, I’d expect steady to lowering costs on fuel, which should cause less concern or possibly increased sales in auto, boating, travel and other fuel byproduct areas such as inks and clothing manufacturing.
Second, interest rates. There’s been a lot of speculation regarding what the Fed is going to do in this area, but I expect it to be of little impact, which may bode well for retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s and home furnishings brands.
Lauren Freedman: For many retailers, it may likely be their physical stores. Despite this scenario, retailers must continue to look for ways to innovate in the physical world. This will likely involve the creative use of in-store technology, associate training, and ideas that drive shoppers to visit and explore.