Category Trends: Mass Market Retail
Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), making e-commerce shipping faster/e-commerce subscriptions, multi-channel, use of virtual assistants, and Luxury meets next-gen HENRY are some current trends impacting the mass market retail category in the United States.
BUY ONLINE, PICK UP IN-STORE (BOPIS)
- BOPIS is been adopted by several large retailers, and this has continued to refine their approaches and develop new ideas for how stores should be designed and operation transformed around the concept of BOPIS.
- BOPIS is currently being enhanced with other technology innovations, like driverless vehicles that could bring customers to stores for order pick-up.
- Merchants, like apparel retailer rue21 and pet product's maven Petco, have adopted BOPIS, and by the end of 2018, it was becoming clear that retailer devotion to BOPIS paid off with increasing interest among customers.
- According to GP Shopper report, last year suggested that more than two-thirds of more than 1,300 shoppers surveyed said they planned to use BOPIS services for holiday shopping needs. The survey found that some shoppers want to use mobile tools to ease and enhance their in-store experiences, as 36% said they wanted to use a retailer's mobile app, 35% said they wanted to use scan-and-go for faster checkout, 27% hoped to use visual search to find items and 26% aimed to use a mobile wish list.
- Walmart, Home Depot, Target, and several other retailers have spent much of 2018 advancing their BOPIS approaches.
MAKING E-COMMERCE SHIPPING FASTER
- In September 2018 the e-commerce sector expanded by 11.4% (Source 3).
- A recent study found that the amount of time people are willing to wait for free shipping has dropped from 5.5 days in 2012 to 4.5 days on average.
- Programs like Amazon Prime have made two-day shipping the standard, so cutting down on shipping time is vital for any e-commerce business looking to stay afloat.
- Recently, buyers are also increasingly seeking shopping that is tailored to their preferences and delivered directly to their doors. The confluence of these trends has resulted in the emergence of subscription e-commerce, businesses that curate products and ship them to customers on a regular basis.
- The retail sector has witnessed explosive expansion since 2010, growing from $57 million in sales to more than $2.6 billion by 2016. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, 15% of online consumers signed up for subscription services in 2017.
USE OF MULTI-CHANNEL
- One of the interesting dichotomies of the current retail model is that despite their alarming closure rates, brick-and-mortar stores still play a key role in the sales process.
- Instead of a single touchpoint for consumers, the trend in retail over the past few years has been to widen the net that brands used to catch leads and convert them.
- BigCommerce’s 2018 Omni-Channel Retail Report found that only 11.8% of Gen-Z shops on Facebook, while nearly 25% of Baby Boomers shop on the social platform. Millennial, meanwhile, prefer to buy products they discover on Instagram and Snapchat.
- This calls for deep integration across all channels, including websites, marketplaces, social media and brick-and-mortar.
- "Multi-channel is vital for captivating consumers and keeping them engaged from first impressions to the eventual point of sale". Focusing on providing excellent service across sales channels will pay big dividends in the coming year.
USE OF VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS
- For customers, having someone to help us choose the product that best suits our needs is a factor that adds great value to the brand. With the current technologies, we can transfer these assistants to the virtual world.
- The improvement in the recommendations of personalized products contributes an incalculable value to the brand. Proof of this is the solution we developed for OneBookShelf, a leading company in the sale of digital entertainment content.
- The virtual assistants are in the process of expansion, in fact, it is estimated annual growth of 11.6% until the year 2021.
- More and more stores offer assistance in the form of chatbots or guided by a voice that provides valuable information to the person in front of the PC, smartphone or tablet. In a relationship of reciprocity, the Artificial Intelligence systems that direct these assistants are learning with the information received from the users' thanks to Machine Learning, perfecting their work algorithms.
- For the retail entrepreneur, virtual assistants can help you automate data-driven business management operations to achieve optimal results. These tasks can range from adapting offers to certain groups, to managing smart email marketing campaigns or suggesting rewards to the best customers, among many others.
LUXURY MEETS NEXT-GEN HENRYS
- This will be the year the luxury industry meets the HENRYs (high-earners-not-rich-yet). They are the leading edge of the millennial generation who will reach 38 years of age this year and hit their stride in terms of career and income.
- Behind them come the Gen Y’s, the oldest of whom will turn 22 years old and start their careers in great demand in a full-employment economy.
- The trendsetters in these two cohorts will be the most educated, most connected and those with the most money — HENRYs in the top 25 percentiles in income.
- The young moneyed are in search of luxury brands that are aligned with their personal values and in tune with the digital way they prefer to engage with brands.
- The luxury watch sector is reeling from their advance, as brands like Patek Philippe fall flat being positioned as a watch you don’t own, but take care of for future generations. Next-gen HENRYs, “don’t necessarily have this long-term vision,” explains Dina Khalifa, of the British School of Fashion.
- They’re buying for now, not for future investment, so a digital watch is much cooler. Young people are after products that integrate tech, as opposed to just seeking out old-fashioned craftsmanship, Khalifa shares.
We began our research by combing through media publications, and precompiled lists of current trends impacting the mass market retail segment in the United States. We utilize credible media magazines like Forbes, Retail Dive, and Entrepreneur. Our research team was able to filter valuable data points and identify the current trends impacting the mass market retail segment in the United States.