Across the globe, retailers are taking courageous steps to harness opportunities created by the dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour. Brian Walker* shares the latest trends from Ebeltoft Group’s Retail Innovations 8 study.
Today, retailers around the world are justifiably consumed with trying to make the stores they run more successful. They must literally make constant course corrections in assortments, pricing, merchandising and store operations to keep the business going. In short, they are necessarily – as Oren Harrari so succinctly puts it – in the ‘candle improvement’ business.
However, when retailers are consumed by the day-to-day running of a business, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to work on step changes within the business. Historically, the majority of retail innovations came from entrepreneurs who seized upon a market opportunity versus established retailers.
But today, in this landscape, we are happy to report retail innovation is alive and well. From our most admired larger retailers to smaller new entrants, retailers are taking courageous steps to harness opportunities created by the dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour and build their business fitness.
To read more about the study’s findings, visit retaildoctor.com.au
Key retail themes/trends
Retail Innovations 8 examined the collected cases and found a number of broader themes emerge. These themes could well become tomorrow’s inflection points. Let’s take a look at the Innovation Theme findings from the study:
The heart of successful retailing lies in creating a coherent and compelling assortment for customers. It’s the job of any retailer to be an effective merchant, selecting the best products they can to create a coherent offer. So, the notion of curated retailing is certainly not new: what has changed is the consumer’s ability to access goods from a much broader (and global) variety of providers.
With the customer able to tap into nearly infinite access to products, this puts even more pressure on retailers to develop a clear and meaningful offer. Simply having a broad selection of products is no longer a differentiator -bringing these products together in unique ways offers retailers an ever-changing way to innovate.
This year, multiple cases in the study focus on innovatively creating assortments – no longer solely based on category, but on a broader lifestyle view of the consumer.
Eco-Friendly-Green is Good
The trend towards Greentailing seems to ebb and flow with the economy. While green was the hot topic just a few years back, it seems to have lost some steam in recent years. Much of this can probably be attributed to the economy. While most consumers still express a preference to behave in an eco-friendly manner, the practical realities of budgets and performance of green products has slowed down the trend.
While it has slowed down, it has certainly not disappeared. This year’s innovations reflect the many paths towards green, from environmentally-conscious buildings to product-driven offers that build entire formats around sustainability.
Will the latest green trend be “sustainable?”
There is real power in truly being local. Having the right products sourced from the communities speaks to powerful macro trends around freshness, sustainability, and supporting the local community. It also speaks compellingly to safety and the consumers’ desire to become better educated and more demanding about the products they’re consuming.
Retailers, large and small, are focusing on attempts to get local. Really local. In this year’s innovations, there are extraordinary efforts underway across multiple countries to highlight local offers.
To read the remaining key themes, visit retaildoctor.com.au