In 2018, experts believe retail will continue to approach the ultimate level of consumer fulfillment. Retail, ahead of all other industries, may in fact be standing on the front lines of modern tech disruption. retail icon

retail icon

Tech disruption isn’t a bad thing – it’s a driving force for convenience, immersion, speed and automation. As 2018 continues, these retail trend predictions are likely to make history.

Prediction One: Consolidation and Mergers Will Increase

We expect to see big-deals increase, in terms of retail acquisitions. Already, Amazon has acquired Whole Foods. Meanwhile, Walmart has gained a few fashion retail startups. Big-name industry players are figuring out the key to widespread retail success: partnerships. Mergers can help with supply chain management, similarly unifying products across multiple providers to have a sweeping impact on consumers.

Prediction Two: Click-and-Collect Experiences

Retail brands aren’t simple product providers anymore – they are living experiences. Thus, retail providers are shifting to a “retail-tainment” point of view, engaging shoppers with augmented reality experiments to create in-store click-and-collect experiences. By utilizing smartphone location-based technology, they are creating consumer-first experiences that boost product appeal via digital rewards.

Prediction Three: Private Labels

Some experts believe 2018 will be the “Year of Private Labels.” Brands like Amazon, Walmart and Target are offering highly competitive private labels—labels offering more value at a high margin. The high margin and exclusivity of private labels are gaining traction, and other companies are following suit.

Prediction Four: Customer-Generated Content

Reviews, ratings and photo-posts give buyers a way to connect with other shoppers. Brands are expected to drive these organic connections, attempting to boost their influence without investing as much as they had in traditional promotions. Customer-generated content may play a big role in product discovery, positively influencing the purchasing decisions that make modern brands competitive.

Prediction Five: Growing Social Responsibility

In 2018, retailers are expected to sync more with Millennials—who have different cultural mindsets than their predecessors. As Millennials begin holding higher purchasing power, we’ll witness a growing social responsibility within the retail giants.

Many of 2018’s proposed trends are spawned from the increased need for omnichannel integration as well as supply chain management efficiency. Brands know how to reach customers, and they’re adapting quickly to changing mindsets. While 2018 is its own year, it certainly follows the trends of previous years—ever-expanding into the world of multi-channel marketing, instant brand access and influencer marketing.

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