With the New Year officially here, retailers must begin to prepare for what will likely be a very interesting year for sales. Though it’s impossible to predict the future, there are some trends that many agree will be prevalent throughout the course of 2013. Below, we’ll review some of those trends and suggest ways that you can get ahead of the game.
Mobility will be king
If you’ve seen more customers browsing your wall racks and display tables while using a mobile phone, you’re likely not alone. Mobility is the name of the game this year, and Forbes says that some industry experts expect most stores will have enabled mobile commerce by the end of the year. Expect customers to use their tablets and other mobile devices even while browsing in physical stores to check prices and compare deals. You may also want to look into mobile payment methods like LevelUp, as more customers will shift to using their smartphone to make payments, rather than their credit cards.
A blend of online and offline
The news source also predicts that a big buzzword this year will be “integration.” Customers will be less concerned about online vs. offline shopping, because in their minds, these two concepts will be equally valuable.
“The consumer does not distinguish” between e-commerce and offline commerce, Brett Markinson, founder of the shoe store Sole Society, told the news source. “They want to buy cute, on-trend products at great values wherever they happen to be. They want to engage with cool brands that understand their interests and proclivities. The DNA of the web must be an intimate part of the fashion brands of the future.”
This means that while investing in your online presence, you’ll need to continue to put money toward store fixtures and other items that enhance your in-store experience. If you don’t have an online shop, this year may be the year to open one. Lori Wachs, a retail expert, told CBS News in Philadelphia that fighting the growth of the internet will be the biggest challenge for retailers in 2013.
Social media continues to grow
Of course, the web is still very much a social atmosphere, and that will continue to impact retailers throughout the year, Forbes reports. Diane Kegley, chief marketing officer of RichRelevance, a firm that recently released data on social media, told the news outlet that while social media may not increase revenue directly, its main purpose is to raise awareness.