WGSN Edit: Global Retail Trend Analysis…

Image via Mogul Theory

Fashion Exposed Blog was recently invited to the WGSN global retail trend seminar with fashion powerhouse and Senior Catwalks Editor, Sue Evans of the UK. The presentation highlighted the best retail practices across the globe including retail strategy, multimedia marketing and visual merchandising.

WGSN Senior Catwalk Editor, Sue Evans

We noted down the key global retail strategies to share with you and the main message? Everything is changing!

It’s not just about the recession anymore, online and mobile are making retail an increasingly competitive market. But if there is one really key message Sue honed on the day, it’s communication. With the introduction of social media and e-commerce, she stresses there has never been more channels to talk to your customer. Use them!

“You shouldn’t expect consumers to come to your product any more. We have moved on from a list on your own website, you have to take it to them” – Sue Evans

Image via Social Media Fish, read their article ‘A Basic Social Media Plan for Fashion Industry’

So here are the top retail trends to consider for your retail business;

Think local or hyper local

Image via mobile marketing

– Social is the new local. Pinterest is in the top 5 and now rates as the third most popular social network in the US. Switch from search to discover mode and take your retail store to the consumer.
– Pinterest is moving from text to image, putting the impulse back into shopping. 87% of the users are female, but there is a new platform for men called gentlemint.
– An increasing amount of retail pop-ups on Facebook.
– Instagram – staggering 25 million users, a major driver for photo flow, send images with a link to buy online
– Tumblr is the social currency for young online. Topshop harnesses this potential by posting real time images of people wearing current Topshop product on the street, and a link for where to buy of course.
– Cash mobs – everyone pledges to support struggling retailers in the local area
– Build your local social program, remember the local everyman, collaborate with interesting companies to increase new interest in your brand or store, and provenance is increasingly important.

New retail rituals

– traditional retail rituals are changing, jump from social to online as retailers now have competition from bloggers, social icons and celebs. The new nomadic trend is taking product out to the customer. New pop-up online stores are happening in the streets where a virtual wall is set up for passers-by to scan and buy with their phones.
– Shopable films – shopable, pinterestable and tweetable
– Everything in my house – a dedicated online mag and store for lovers of interesting homes and lovehats.com where consumers can upload an image of themselves and virtually try on hats
– New retail communities, bloggers in collaboration with brands such as Jak&Jil with Club Monaco.
– Social gaming trend – fantasy shopper players discover and share fashion from the real world using fake money, but can buy at any time.
– Gocitygirl.com is a way to gossip and shop for girls under 25
– Look at new ways of presenting products to consumers online and make friends with these new retail stars, bloggers.

NOTE: For more on how to implement social media into your marketing strategy and enlist online influencers, read `Fashion PR Trends: How Tibi Manages Social Media and Works with Bloggers’ which is a conversation with Liz Walker the Directer of Public Relations at Tibi, giving an insiders view on how they have embraced the blogging community.

Stakeholder society

Image via Digital Fashion Culture

– retailers need to act more like a brand so stakeholder consumer will want to be a part of your society and stick with you.
– Ask the expert, such as on Sephora where they are tapping into their staff skill base and linking them to beauty talk forum, pinterest account, making it personal.
– Manifesto retail trend taps into consumer desire to see `giving’ retail attitude.
– Make sure you `get’ your customer, make them feel involved, leverage staff passion and expertise, and get philanthropic.

Be a smooth operator

– Being a smooth operator and becoming omni-channel, but don’t worry as hardly any retailers across the globe have got this right yet.
– Macy’s are the best example of omni-channel retail right now. After 9 mths they have gone from domestic to shipping to 101 countries globally. They doubled their earnings in last four years, so must be doing something right.
– Click and collect – a new trend where consumers buy online and collect in-store. ASOS are about to launch a pick up network of corner shops like 7eleven.
– Gucci equipped sales staff with iPhones to process sales anywhere in store and email the receipt to the customer.
– Donna Karan has reinvented the QR code to make it look fashion and pretty
– Richard Nicol with iPhone created a rechargeable handbag, plug phone into a discreet pocket and charge away.

Romancing the store

– The social entertainment of shopping will keep the four wall store alive, but it is essential to give a reason and woo the customer back in. Enrich the in-store experience by showing customer product with new meaning, and change it often.
– New lifestyle values trend – swap aspirational retail for health and beauty. New retail opportunity to cross sell.
– Staff just don’t sell the lifestyle they live it. Staff who skates and sells skate footwear means that customer’s lifestyle values are being understood.
– As consumers reign in consumption, beauty treats are on the rise. Fashion retail are bringing in beauty `spots’ into store to enhance dwell time.
– Heritage and provenance trend – real genuine props in store tied to a story with personality fixtures

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