Retail is changing, there's a general shift to "save" the high-street store and craft unique in-store experiences as you expand to fit omni-channel strategies whilst leveraging big data opportunities.
But while you're still making the most of working into these areas, what are the new trends for 2013 in the world of retail?
Put together by a panel of industry experts, here are the 13 trends for 2013 that you should be kept aware of – even if some are very buzzword-y in nature.
1. Mobile & M-Retailing
This isn't just about having an app, it's about engaging with customers through mobile portals and doing so in a way that benefits the business, rather than just ticking a box for the consumer. It's about having an in-store experience that's heightened and improved by the use of mobile technology to interact with the brand.
This replaces "fulfilment" because you need to get used to breaking logistical terms down into customers terms as they don't talk about having an item fulfilled. It's always about delivering a customer's stuff to them as best you can, not about just fulfilling their order.
3. Experience Design
Very important for stores to have a unified and strong experience for customers at every touch point as it creates a memorable experience that they'll want to revisit.
4. Recession Retail
As the recession bites and only occasionally looks to relent its grasp on the world's economy, Recession Retail is all about understanding how to measure success. No longer do you concern yourselves with year-on-year margins, instead it's now about maintaining market share.
This isn't about omni-channel offerings, instead it's about making sure you've got the right departments working together properly, seamlessly merged into one cohesive team – despite being two different departments. I.e. marketing and customer engagement, should both work together, but also remain separate entities.
6. Publishing and Content
Engaging customers through original content is key, and is a growing trend already this year with growth nearly double that of last year. It's important to make the most of content marketing as a strong piece of content can drive a campaign more than most advertising.
7. International and Crosschannel
Make sure you aren't cutting out any potential customers by offering a way to sell across borders and through different methods too. The world is quickly becoming interconnected and by limiting who you service is very damaging to your business overall.
8. Order Orchestration & Management
Tying in with delivery, you now have to make sure that you can deliver those items properly through different channels. You also need to ensure that you manage your offering through multiple channels so customers can order what they want how they want and have it delivered in a similar way. Can they start their journey in store but receive it at home later that day?
9. Team Structure
It used to be that one eCommerce team worked fine, but now in the world of multichannel and omni-channel you have to make sure your business works in the same way, with a team structured to care for each department properly – rather than one team stretched out over many areas.
10. PIM (Product Information Management) Powered Commerce
Moving on from big data, PIM is an insight into in-store, online and the supply chain of goods to see who's buying what and how to ensure that you're always staying on top of what your customers want without having to chew through the fat of dead data.
11. Digital Store
People want an in-store experience that lets them shop how they want. It's a move to bring in digital shelf edge labels, NFC terminals and contactless payments. It's a way to react to the shift in how people are shopping before it becomes too widespread and looks like a late and conservative move instead of a trailblazing early one.
12. Big Insight
An expansion and moving on from big data to instead understand what you use big data for and how to wring the worth out of it instead of just collect it ad infinitum.
13. Integrated Social Retail
Going beyond your simple Twitter and Facebook pages and help services, it's about turning social media into commerce and retail opportunities. It's a service that needs to be staffed 24 hours a day too to really create an impact for your brand. You need to break down the barrier between the two separate channels of commerce and social media.
[Image: Adam K Dean – Flickr]