The Future of Retail: Trends for 2019

The Future of Retail Trends

The retail industry is one that has changed dramatically over the past few years. Amidst all of the retail apocalypse chatter, an entire industry has slowly been reinventing itself in order to survive. Not only has it survived, but smart retailers are thriving by creating in-store shopping experiences and completely revamping the way their customers interact with their brand. In 2019, stores will be defined by their inclusion of experiential retail and a shift to an on-demand employment model.

Expansion of experiences

Brick-and-mortar stores learned an important lesson in 2018 – and that lesson is that shoppers want something more than items on a shelf in a store. They want an experience when they walk in the door. Customers are letting their emotions lead the shopping experience. The appeal of a brick-and-mortar location has to go beyond the transaction, it has to be a place where consumers want to spend their time.

In the long run, it’s predicted that many stores will transform into brand showrooms where you can touch and try products but purchases are made online and shipped directly to your home. This puts the focus back on the experience and interaction with the brand. It will also allow sales associates to focus on making a connection with customers rather than having to spend time stocking shelves or taking inventory.

Technology = On-demand Retail Staffing

The retail industry employees 15 million workers in the US and retail workers in general demand flexibility. According to ManpowerGroup, “Twice as many retail candidates want part-time work than any other industry, and 31 percent of retail workers also prefer to choose their own shifts, versus 18 percent across other industries.”

Brands will need technology to manage all of the sales associates they have working in stores. It’s clear that in order to optimize their staffing process, companies need to move to an on-demand staffing model. To do so, they need one cloud-based platform that will provide them with all of the resources they need in one place. By being able to tap into a vertically specific talent pool, hiring managers can find qualified talent fast while management software gives them the ability to schedule talent on-demand, manage their budgets, and process payroll — all in the same place.

The beauty boom

The beauty retail industry has been anything but apocalyptic this past year. Lead by beauty behemoths Sephora and Ulta, retail beauty sales have continued to grow. Sephora reinvented their own customer experience with a new Beauty Hub including digital apps or testing products and beauty tutorials. Even notoriously e-commerce focused brand Glossier opened their first flagship in NYC this year focusing on top notch customer service and a hands-on experience of their products. They’re certainly not alone with 67% of e-commerce brands opening physical stores in the past 36 months. 2019 is sure to see a continuation of this combination of traditional elements with new technology in an already booming industry.

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