With a new year getting under way, it’s a good time to consider the major trends affecting our industry. 2018 promises to be another action-packed year, especially in the retail space, where much disruption is taking place thanks to the adoption of new technologies and the ongoing battle between online and brick-and-mortar players.
Here are the major trends to watch in 2018:
1. Retail Convergence
Many industries are being affected by new technologies emerging within the retail space, which is in the midst of convergence between online and brick and mortar. As retail stalwarts such as Target and Walmart work to strengthen their online presence, web-based players such as Amazon are expanding into the physical store space. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is sure to bring innovation to physical retail as the company experiments with new in-store camera technology, being utilized in Amazon Go, that allows shoppers to pick items from shelves and walk out without having to stand in cashier lines. Purchases are recorded and processed electronically.
Industry-wide, Internet of Things (IoT) implementations will facilitate more changes such as automated inventory management, augmented reality (AR) dressing rooms and omnichannel marketing campaigns that leverage technologies such as WiFi and mobile apps to deliver personalized experiences to a consumer.