There is a lot to look forward to in 2016 in the world of retail – innovations in technology continue to break down the barriers between consumer and retailer. Methods for gathering insights about your customers are also getting more sophisticated. These means marketing campaigns are becoming much more targeted – and therefore effective.
Here are few of the retail marketing trends for 2016 that we’re excited about:
The gap between off-line and online is shrinking
It’s becoming ever easier for internet-only retailers to make their mark on UK high streets. Pop up shops are popping up all over the place, with both big and small brands opening physical shop doors for a few days or weeks at a time.
The surge in popularity for pop ups has caused a few problems for the little guys, as empty shops in sought-after locations like London now come at a premium. However, the upside is that these temporary spaces are now being used much more strategically. In recent months, we’ve seen retailers using pop up shops to gather data, trial locations for more permanent stores, and get feedback on products to inform development of new lines.
The pop up trend shows no sign of abating in 2016. However, the format is evolving and adapting in favour of smaller retailers. Services like We Are Pop Up are helping like-minded retailers connect and collaborate. Instead of renting out a whole shop space, you can just rent a rail.
This blending of brands is certainly practical from a logistical point as you can utilise existing facilities in an established shop. However, it also creates potential create PR opportunities when done right. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what pop up partnerships happen in 2016 and how they are received by consumers.
Social media is becoming more integral to the shopping experience
In 2015, social media advertising caused waves in ecommerce as many platforms scaled up their advertising features. In September, the big news was that Instagram opened up to all advertisers after integrating with Facebook. UK retailers are also waiting with bated breath the launch of Pinterest shoppable pins – currently only available in the US.
Image credit: Jason Howie on Flickr.
We expect to see similar stories in 2016 as more platforms allow retailers to sell direct to consumers with “buyable content”. However, it’s not just in the virtual space where social media and shopping are merging. Retailers are beginning to introduce social content to stores too.
One story that caught our eye was the social media-informed digital clothing rail. Created by O2 Business for Tyrers department store, the rail displayed which items of clothing were trending on social media. This is a good example of how social listening paired with technology creates a great experience for consumers.
Data is being used to inform business decisions
Here at Leapfrogg, we love hearing how retailers are using data to game-change their business. In 2015, we were excited to work with Rockett St George on a customer insight project. By learning about the buying behaviours of their customers, this homeware retailer segmented and profiled their database, then refined their marketing communications to provide customers with a more relevant and personalised experience. The result was a 20% increase in turnover in October compared to the same period last year.
Another success story from a retailer was the launch of River Island’s “Click and don’t collect” service. Research by fulfilment specialist Shutl and Retail Week revealed that 20% of shoppers who buy online ask for a refund on their goods rather than collect in store. To give customers more control over the delivery of their items whilst minimalising stock level issues, River Island launched an innovative new service. Shoppers who have selected ‘click and collect’ now have the option of change to Shutl’s delivery service and get their order delivered to their door within 90 minutes, or at a time convenient to them.
In 2016, we want to see more case studies like this as the benefit of using data is two-fold – retailers see better results and customers enjoy a richer experience when purchasing items both online and in stores.
Which trends and innovations excite you the most in 2016? Tweet us at @leapfrogg or leave a comment below.