Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Retail Trends for the New Year

Somewhere after the new year's eve party, packaging up the holiday decorations, and the polar vortex - 2014 is here! With the new year comes new trends which can use to your advantage. 

Go Digital or Go Home
You need to have a digital presence.  The increase use of web, mobile, and social media will continue to set growth records.  Research mobile marketing and explore text messaging sales alerts. If you are a service provider, try mobile and online appointment booking. Showcase your products, styles, and customers on pinterest and facebook to drive brand engagement. Have a defined plan for each of these marketing channels to maximize your reach.

Market Diversity
The world is a melting pot. Catering products and services to diverse types of people will allow you to reach more potential customers.  Typically retail has been very female focused.  Big trends continue to be expanding and/or creating boutique marketing towards men and children.  This can been seen in examples such as the growth of men and kid focuses spas.  Expand the view of your target customer to ring up more sales.

Certify your Go Green Efforts
Being earth friendly is a continuous theme, but this year consumers don't want to hear empty claims. They expect organic and green labeled products to be certified by reputable sources. Verify with your suppliers any eco-minded claims.  If vendors can't back up their claims, move your business elsewhere. You need to be authentic.

Time Value Service and Products
Time is the most valuable currency. Creating products and services that save customers time will be everywhere. Some examples are offering the 15 minute power massage or retail stores allowing pre-orders online with customer pick up. Think of ways to save customers time and they will pay for the luxury.

Product Diversion
Ecommerce sites and big box retailers are increasing product diversion and pushing down prices. This will continue to accelerate with the advances of digital marketing and social sharing. You can combat this by offering boutique products, meaning products only carried at limited locations, or investing in your own private label lines. Other suggestions are offering discounts for pre-orders, continued repeat purchases, or on products when pre-booked with a service. 

Knowing the trends is half the battle, but the other half is creating marketing plans from this knowledge. With a little creativity and forethought, you can maximize these trends and improve your business!

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