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Top 5 Retail Trends to Watch in 2019

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Hena Kabeer,Digital Marketing Executive

Today, customers have multiple ways to buy products. While a majority of the millennials prefer shopping online, a significant other majority expects a personalized and hassle-free in-store shopping experience. 

It is of no surprise to see that the retail world is moving at breakneck speed to accommodate the growing consumer demands. The increasing shopping convenience has placed the retail industry in a highly competitive perspective. 

In this blog, let us analyze the top 5 disruptive trends that will shape the retail world in 2019. 


Top Retail Trends in 2019

Trend 1: Internet of Things (IoT) & Internet of Experience (IoX) 
By 2020, retailers must have spent 2.5 Billion on IoT hardware and installation. Earlier, the pace of IoT adoption in retail was comparatively low. But towards the mid of 2017, it picked up momentum and more proofs-of-concept has been introduced. So far, steady growth has been observed in IoT-Retail adoption. 

Smart stores for the ultimate in-store experience, smart shelves for effective inventory management, sensors for secure supply chain management etc., are some of the prominent IoT use cases in retail. The underlying objective behind IoT application in retail is to provide a seamless user experience, the Internet of Experience. 

IoX is not limited to the consumer segment alone. It is applicable to all the IoT users, be it the retailer or the consumer. Hence, 2019 will be the year of Internet of Experience for both the retailers and consumers.

Trend 2: Social Commerce  
In a world with 3.2 billion social media users, social commerce will generously contribute to retail revenue generation in the coming years. Apart from connecting people across the world, social media platforms have now evolved to be the right arm of the retailers. 

The popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have changed the way users interact with them. Along with Amazon and Flipkart, social media platforms also understand their users well. In the coming years, this understanding will be largely translated to offer targeted marketing campaigns. 

Trend 3: Conversational Commerce Solutions
Conversational commerce platforms are ruling the e-commerce domain. It eliminates rote processes from the employees' to-do list and enables them to focus their energy on other vital tasks. An intelligent virtual personal assistant, controlled through text or voice, is what retailers are mostly employing in today’s business world.

Gartner states that the first wave of conversational commerce was met with mixed success. However, AI and other related technologies are maturing conversational commerce for better digital commerce. 

Trend 4: Subscription-based Shopping Model 
The subscription model e-commerce market has grown by more than 100 percent over the past 5 years. It has become a convenient way to shop for products and services online. As per Mckinsey research, 15 percent of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis, frequently through monthly boxes.

Basically, there are three types of subscription models - Access, Replenishment, and Curation. If Access and Replenishment are two of the very-known subscription models, then Curation is the most popular subscription model. Access gives users to receive products are lower rates based on member discount programs. Replenishment subscription model helps customers to automate the purchase of selected products and services. Curation model surprises and delights the consumers with new and highly-personalized products. 

The year 2019 will witness an incredible increase in subscription-based shopping model as it is the easiest customer acquisition technique for retailers. 

Trend 5: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
According to CCS Insight, by 2019 it is estimated that 24 million virtual reality devices will be sold worldwide. From this same research, the market for smart augmented reality glasses is expected to be worth $ 1.2 billion by the end of this year. Experts say that the retail industry will be the top spending industry on AR and VR by 2020. 

AR is widely leveraged by retailers to improve customer experience. In the coming years, AR will help merchandizers with intelligent analytics data. With the help of technologies such as beacons, RFID, and other prominent audio-visual technologies combined with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, retailers can derive useful insights regarding customer behavior. The data provided can, hence, be used to understand the growing shopping trends. 


Final Thoughts

The total retail sales expected to grow by 3.3% to $5.529 trillion and e-commerce sales expected to grow by 15.1% to $605.3 billion. 

 - The Future of Retail 2019, eMarketer 

In 2019, brands will sell experiences, not just their products. Physical stores are expected to become more digital and online stores will bring more innovative advancements for an impeccable shopping experience. Consumers will be able to shop anywhere and anytime they wish. The above-discussed top technology trends are bound to conquer the retail domain in the coming year. Hope you will be better armed to face the new challenges in the coming year!

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