Trends Coming down the tracks
From our friends and colleagues at Smollan Holdings, who recently ran an internal trends workshop, here are six key drivers for retail in the months and years ahead, paraphrased by us.
Direct-to-consumer: Brands are embracing strategies that allow them to engage directly with and sell to consumers. This enables them to control the overall customer experience and collect consumer data, improve their offering and build a stronger brand identity. However, while the lockdowns of the past 18 months have driven a rise in e-commerce, other direct to consumer approaches remain under-indexed.
Employee experience: Pandemic work regimes have produced a workforce ready to flex, demanding less rigid work schedules, unlimited leave or a combination of these elements. Co-designing the post-pandemic work environment with one’s employees is critical.
Strategic collaborations: Companies with compatible values – from brands, to retailers, to social media platforms – come together leveraging one another’s assets or audiences to accomplish a common goal.
Minimal impact: Today’s conscious consumers are buying with less frequency and more mindfully, supporting plastic-free and cruelty-free products and shorter routes-to-market.
Holistic wellbeing: Consumers are embracing preventative care, self-monitoring and holistic wellness, and experimenting with ways to improve their personal consumption and lifestyle habits.
Optimising the last mile: Due to the exponential growth of e-commerce and demand for speedy delivery, last mile efficiency is equally as important as customer service; as a result, warehousing, distribution and delivery models are transforming to streamline operations, embracing automation technologies and novel delivery methods.
Comment: As sharp a summation of what’s driving retailers and the consumers they serve as any we’ve seen, speaking lots of good ideas for brand development and retail execution.