2014 was a year of changes for the retail industry as several things happened at an extremely unpredictable speed. Notably the sales went on from physical (brick and mortar stores) to the online medium. There were innumerable companies getting their tech switch on and preparing their online presence and there were some high-profile changeovers of CEO’s from prominent brands such as Target and American Apparel’s. To keep it simple 2014 for the retail industry was a year of introduction of few massive changes that will be flipping the sector for more advancement, most of these trends are ought to be carried forward in 2015.
However, the following trends according to experts are more likely to happen in 2015 and must be taken note of for a well-prepared year in retail business that will result in ample profits.
Let’s scan through the most likely trends in retail industry for 2015:
Mobile-friendly websites will be a MUST in 2015:
The finishing of last year saw a big leap in the mobile shopping world; the Cyber Monday 2014 was a bright example as 22% of the total online sales directed to the mobile phone medium. This was a huge 27% more as compared to 2013 according to IBM Digital Analytics. However, companies need to get their basics right in order to reap the profits. Most of the participants don’t bother to have a stress free “mobile friendly” website; which is thoroughly irritating for the customers.
Some part-takers who have observed the business feel that having a mobile friendly website is a necessity today whereas it was a competitive advantage a year ago. Having features like virtual trial rooms will not help if the core website isn’t user friendly. Many business owners have just jumped into the mobile version without taking into consideration many of its basics. Therefore, there is a serious requirement to get the basics proper in 2015 which would help improve the sales through mobile medium.
Retail will get “MICRO SIZED”:
The shrinking up of numbers and sizes was frequent news in the retail industry although 2014. Brand wise Target and Walmart have already passed press statements about opening up micro-stores (small size stores) at several locations. Walmart specifically indicated that it would throw open 200-220 “small-format stores” although 2015. Similarly; Target has also announced plans of opening Target Express stores at 5 locations along a City Target.
According to retail gurus small-size stores are here to stay as it cuts down on the cost factor is much easier to operate. Moreover, it is a success as it suits the growing needs of nuclear families, their constantly changing convenience and it is most profitable as many brands are facing an end to their lease periods for their stores.
Strong performers will get STRONGER:
Alike 2014, this year too will be a race between the best. The saying “May the BEST one win” will continue to be true even in 2015. However, there are a few seriously under-performing brands those will need some financial backing, yet they have the real estate path that would assist in bringing in funds.
Experts predict that most of the “not so well” performing brands are already planning to close down many of their under-performing stores. Cutting down on the number of stores has often helped in getting the brands on track again, such brands also are planning to turn these locations into real-estate destinations using which they would pump in some vital funding.
They also estimate a steep growth for the well performing brands as multiple mediums of sales (especially sales through mobile) will help expanding profits.
Lower-income groups will actively participate:
This is one thing which is about to change compared to 2014. This year the lower-income shoppers will be more active than they were last year, this is more because the reducing burdens on them. Notably the oil and gas price all over the globe is trimming down and this is ought to affect the retail sales in a positive manner. Economists from around the world are predicting a higher contribution from the lower-income groups which is a happy news for the retail store owners as increase in lower-income group customers will result in a higher profit making balance sheet.
Things which WON”T happen:
2015 may seem to be a bright year for retail industry but as there are two sides in everything, there are certain things that won’t happen and it will only be wise to accept them rather than forcing the issue. Apple Pay will NOT break the dominance of the traditional payment mediums like credit and debit cards. This is primary due to the number of complications involved in the medium (remember everyone in this world don’t own an Apple iPhone 6 Plus).
Online grocery category continues to remain the least penetrated segment as it has least participants and yet to receive performers who are interested in taking up the challenges involved in the business. Delivering fresh and frozen foods to clients is still a big challenge and this will probably not be taken by anyone because of which 2015 won’t be a breakthrough year for the niche.