Top Retail Trends for 2016

As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead to all aspects of your practice and business for the coming year. That includes the retail side, and, to help, we’ve scoured the internet and analyzed recent research to provide you with six of the key retail trends you need to know about for 2016.


Tip: “Customers who research online and then buy in-store spend 125% of the amount they intended.”

44 For the last 44 months, smaller retailers have been growing at a faster rate than the overall industry.

  1. PAYMENT TECHNOLOGIES: Mobile payments will soar. Part of the reason is the new chip credit cards. For years, retail gurus have said mobile wallets like Apple Pay would change the way consumers complete transactions. Despite predictions to the contrary, that never happened. The new chip credit cards, however, are easing shoppers into newer technologies.


  1. ONLINE AND IN-STORE: If you think mobile apps have nothing to do with you, think again. 41% of shoppers reported actively use mobile when they buy in-store. Those consumers also spend more, according to Macy’s, which finds that customers who research online and then buy in-store, spend 125% of the amount they intended. If you don’t engage customers online, however, the RIS/EKN Customer Engagement Tech Trends Study reports you’ll do a minimum of 10% less business than someone who allows customers to cross back and forth.


  1. SMALL BUSINESS: According to Sarah Quinlan, head of market insights for Master Card Advisors, 2016 is going to be a good year for the little guys. That includes most of you, and one reason is that millennials like shops and products that feel distinctive. That’s why, for the last 44 months, smaller retailers have been growing at a faster rate than the overall industry.


  1. PERSONAL TOUCH. The 2016 consumer will be looking for the personalized services and offers in-store that they’ve come to expect online. That means you need to come up with some creative rewards for purchasing with you. A traditional retailer may have a personalized loyalty program, and you also can reward customers with special second-pair programs, providing things like cleaning cloths or solutions with purchases, or offering something online that’s available only after an in-store purchase. It’s all about being creative.


  1. CAUSE MARKETING. Show you care, and involve your patients and customers—and their purchases–in causes that are important to you. A recent survey by Cone Communications and Echo Research reported that 87% of consumers now weigh a business’s social responsibility into their buying decisions.


  1. CUSTOMER SERVICE. According to researchers at VitalSmarts, only 7% of employees recently surveyed said they always act when seeing poor customer service at their location. The result? Small business and big retail alike report they are sharpening their customer service strategies for 2016.


These are some of the key trends and issues that retailers are addressing in 2016. What about you? Please tell us and join the conversation on our Facebook page here.

Erinn Morgan