20-Plus Things to Watch in Retail, Part 2
In the final part of this two-part series on the "20-Plus Things to Watch in Retail” section of JWT's Retail Rebooted report, I discuss 12 of these 20-plus things, including the mobile-powered consumer, shopping hotels and variable pricing. In part one, I discussed 10 trends contained in the report, including 3-D printing, alternative brand currencies and click-and-collect shopping.
1. Guys in the aisles. As men get more involved in running the household, brands will widen their singular focus on moms and women in general. Retailers, the report said, are rethinking store layouts and signage, improving their digital tools for shoppers, and adjusting messaging to acknowledge the man’s changing role — or at least to become more gender-neutral.
2. Individual attention. More mass-market retailers will cater to a growing expectation of superior service, the report said. Target, for example, plans to expand its "beauty concierges" to approximately 200 U.S. stores this year, while J.Crew offers a free personal shopper program, Very Personal Stylist, at all its stores.
3. The mobile-powered consumer. With mobile devices officially an integral part of the consumer purchasing cycle — most retailers are aware of this now and are catering to mobile consumers — retailers will invest in unique mobile technologies like geolocation, augmented reality and NFC to help further integrate mobile into each step of the buying process, according to the report.
4. Online groceries. Online grocery shopping is slowly going mainstream as more consumers adopt an e-commerce mind-set and as more retailers get into the logistically complex game, the report said. Brick-and-mortar chains will also vie with e-commerce rivals. For example, Amazon.com, which has rolled out AmazonFresh in Seattle and Los Angeles, is reportedly considering a wide range of urban locales for 2014.
5. Retailers enable recycling. In a bid to be more green, apparel retailers are ramping up efforts to keep clothing out of landfills, the report noted. In 2012, Puma introduced Bring Me Back, an initiative that added in-store bins into which shoppers can deposit used clothing and shoes of any brand. The goods are then reused, upcycled for industrial use or recycled into new raw materials. And Marks & Spencer offers "shwopping" (shopping + swapping), collecting used garments in collaboration with Oxfam.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.