By Rieva Lesonsky
What’s ahead for retail in 2019? STORES, from the National Retail Federation (NRF) is out with their predictions, some of which are below. If you’re a retailer (or e-tailer), I recommend you read the whole thing. It’s chockfull of great information. Here’s what to expect in the coming year:
AI goes mainstream. Consumers now expect a personalized shopping experience, which AI and machine learning can help retailers provide. “Intelligence-enabled platforms and systems are now fully capable of delivering customer-centric insights, helping retailers tackle inventory woes and providing data to support optimal pricing strategies,” STORES says.
Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Consulting, told STORES, “Investments in AI and machine learning can result in increased revenue and better customer experiences.”
Health and wellness will continue to boom. The big drugstores are stepping up their efforts in this market, but don’t let that intimidate you. Consumers are hungry for solutions. “The number of apps aimed at helping shoppers to do a better job of tracking health and wellness has expanded exponentially and will continue to explode over the next 12 months,” says STORES. Also keep watching the cannabis industry, which is “projected to grow 220% globally in 2019 alone.”
Sustainability makes an impact. It took a while, but consumers have grown to expect transparency from the companies they do business with. “[Consumers] have embraced the reality that their purchase habits have an impact on the world,” says STORES. “As a result, they’re voting with their wallets.”
There’s much more, including predictions for blockchain, Amazon robotics and “Storefront as a Service,” which promises to give online brands a physical location. Read the full article.