Last year was a busy year for retail trends—2014 brought a wave of new developments in retail and in the technologies that retailers use to improve revenue and forge deeper connections with consumers. By understanding where the industry has been, you can gain important insights about the trends that will shape the retail sector in the coming year.
A Recap of Retail Trends 2014
At Walker Sands, we provide comprehensive PR and digital services to some of the world’s fastest growing retail technology providers. Looking back over the past year, here are some of the most important retail trends 2014 brought—developments that we think they will continue to influence the industry going forward:
- Consumers love e-commerce. Business is booming for online retailers as consumers increasingly go online to shop and complete purchases. Although Amazon is still the biggest kid on the block, this past year showed that niche retailers and sellers that offer added value to consumers are finding new ways to compete against Amazon and other large e-commerce providers.
- Shipping matters. Enhanced shipping is one of the value-added services that retailers are using to compete against Amazon. Specifically, retailers that offer free and expedited shipping options as well as convenient return policies stand a better chance of capturing market share from online giants.
- Consumers want seamless shopping experiences. The dichotomy between online and in-store is rapidly disappearing. More than ever, consumers expect brands to deliver seamless, integrated experiences that allow them to use mobile and other channels during brick-and-mortar shopping trips.
- Social drives brand interactions. The relationship between retail and the social channel is maturing. Although brands continue to use social platforms to broadcast information about their products and services, leading retailers see social as a cornerstone of their commerce strategies and are growing in their ability to leverage social for deeper and more meaningful interactions.
- Payment technology is finally evolving. It took a while, but mobile wallets and alternative payment technologies may finally be gaining traction in the retail marketplace. Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other technologies will likely create additional opportunities for streamlined checkout processes moving forward.
Interested in learning more about retail trends 2014? For more information, visit www.walkersands.com/futureofretail to download Walker Sands’ latest Future of Retail study.