Despite taking a meaty hit during the pandemic, the retail industry endures as a viable and attractive way to sell goods. But to combat rising interest rates and inflationary pressure, you need to continually evolve your retailing approach and stay on your toes.
So, what trends can retail stores embrace in 2023 to keep the tills chiming and your customers happy?
Sustainable and ethical retail practices
Consumers have become much more aware of the importance of ethical, inclusive, moral, and environmentally sustainable practices.
This is a broad net to cast, but it comes down to awareness and communication. See what you can do to:
- make your retail space welcoming and inviting for all people
- source environmentally conscious products and packaging
- get involved with a charity
- interrogate your supply chain for sustainability practices
- avoid using products that were sourced from suppliers or practices with human rights concerns.
Now go ahead and include these considerations in your marketing, signage, and advertising – let your stakeholders know.
Embrace eCommerce too
The issue for retailers is location. Not everyone can—or will—visit your brick-and-mortar store in person. The result, of course, is a radical diminishment of your potential consumer base due to locality alone.
You may offer incredible quality service, stunning wares, and a unique and attractive space, but people only travel so far to shop in store.
During the pandemic restaurants and physical retail stores enabled food delivery and eCommerce services to keep themselves afloat. Double down on this and diversify by offering an online shopping experience as well as shopping in store.
You never know, your e-store could even become your biggest money spinner, while also solving customer-access issues.
Cashier less stores
A recent poll found 87 percent of shoppers would be likely to choose stores that offer a contactless checkout option for purchases. Indeed, the idea of cashier-less payment systems has been given additional force through social isolation policies sparked by COVID-19. Furthermore, technological advancements and artificial intelligence have made this much more viable…
A customer may soon be able to simply leave the shop without having their goods automatically checked or their total purchase debited from their account automatically. In fact, Amazon introduced a simple walk-out system that’s now blueprinted to apply in affiliated stores like AmazonGo.
For smaller retailers – there are other innovative options too.
For instance, Wolki Butchery, an Australian business operates with no staff or cashiers whatsoever and is open 24/7.
Installing freezers for their meat products and allowing storefront access through a pin code lock for registered customers, payments are handled through their app, which not only creates an excellent customer experience but keeps staffing costs low.
Successful retailers become experiential
Retail businesses with physical premises must differentiate themselves from other online retailers by offering exclusive in-store experiences. Be different. Be interactive. And if you want your customers to generate your social content for you (umm…yes please!) be photo-worthy.
Though brick-and-mortar stores may sell less stock, their value in strengthening your consumers’ relationship with your company is hard to compete with online—so if you own a shopfront, embrace this thought: immersive Instagrammable experiences in a physical retail space can give your brand a freshness that digital marketing does not.
Take the Nike Time Square flagship store, which includes a basketball court where a photographer captures shots and treadmills which mimic the running paths. Talk about shooting for stars with retail goals here!
Modern POS systems
It’s imperative these days that you look to modern point of sale systems when retailing in person.
There are a variety of well-connected options when creating a system, so be sure you know what software and device combo will serve you (and your customers) best.
Maybe you only need a tap and go dongle and receipt printer, perhaps you want to add a barcode scanner?
If you’re in the restaurant game, you may want a server tablet or go all in with a QR code ordering system.
Whatever tech you fancy adding to the menu, a good POS setup not only creates an easy and efficient checkout experience, but also makes automates laborious tasks for your staff.
Integrate your systems!
Once you’ve chosen a POS setup, it’s a good time to integrate your retail technologies! This can seriously automate your day-to-day operations and streamline and centralise so much of your work. Think about integrating:
- Your accounting software with your POS and with your bank accounts.
- Your inventory management system with in-store scanners.
- Online orders or ecommerce with both accounting software and inventory.
By looking at ways you can connect all the payment, recording, and ordering systems in your retail business, you’ll create an all-in-one system that sees everything. You basically want everything in your retail sales environment to ‘talk to each other’.