We can’t quite believe it’s the end of another year.With the Christmas season now upon us, thoughts will inevitably turn to the new year. It’s been an interesting 2018 for retail trends. We’ve seen many changes in the high street environment over the last few years and the loss of some big names. Despite fears about the end of the high street, the truth is anything but. Here is what we expect to happen with in-store marketing over the next 12 months.
Artificial Intelligence in Marketing
2018 was the year of Artificial Intelligence in retail sales. From 2019, we expect it to apply to marketing and the in-store experience too. The Market Research profession feels that by the beginning of 2020, 85% of customer interactions will use AI in some way. AI allows marketing to research and apply information far more effectively with up-to-the-minute data on customer perception. Retail Print Solutions can then use this data to design targeted graphics and enable improved store customisation.
The Customer Experience
To survive, the high street will need to innovate. Thankfully, this is already happening. Some of our clients are looking at new ways of enticing customers into their stores with interactive displays, conceptual design, and dedicated niche shops. This is partly fuelled by artificial intelligence but also as a reaction against the dominance of web shopping. These concept stores focus on providing the unique experience that the web can never deliver. Here at Retail Print Solutions, we feel this is an exciting time for innovative in-store graphic displays and are proud to be a part of it.
The Department Store Will Change – Not Die
The traditional department store has struggled for around 20 years. We’ve lost Woolworths and BHS with House of Fraser struggling through 2018. But 2019 could be the year that these high street giants fight back. We expect some will consolidate while others adapt some of the best practices of smaller competitors. These include ideas we’ve already discussed here such as interactive retail, entertainment zones as part of the purchase experience, and a more personal service. All of this will require striking visuals to attract customers.
2019 is likely to be the year that subscription retail moves out of the early adopter phase and into the mainstream. Perhaps not the first thing we might consider for in-store marketing and sales, but such services complement the retail experience. It’s long been a USP of small and independent retailers. With this success, the bigger shops could benefit from it too. We expect to see dedicated areas and focal points as advertising points, but also part of the customer interactive experience already discussed.
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