TechInAfrica – Francesca Nicasio is a Retail Expert at Vend and she makes five predictions and trends for the retail industry in 2019. As we may wonder what the retail industry will bring for the next 12 coming months, Nicasio helps to answer questions all about the retail industry’s predictions in this year.
1. More investment in the workforce
According to Nicasio, retailers need to pay their employers more as they must evolve themselves from just “salespeople” to consultants and experts. Instead of training the employees on products and policies, retail companies will also have to train them the ability to relate to customers so that it will improve customer experience.
Nicasio quoted one of the TIME articles about the retail future workers: cool, charismatic, and better paid. The quote represents the prediction of 2019’s retail workers.
2. Retail stores will need to improve the customer experience
Retail stores are not only all about location but also experience. It’s not a café or restaurant where the location is important for the convenience aspect. Most modern consumers nowadays tend to visit retail stores due to the best experience they get, not because of the location. Therefore, retail companies must consider how to improve customer experience. The strategy will depend on products, service, store, as well as customers. Make sure you know what offerings you can give the best to customers.
3. More delivery options and shipping-time flexibility
PSFK reveals that about 82% of consumers tend to purchase for a brand that offers multiple delivery options. The high demand is also followed by flexible delivery shipping, including same day delivery, in-store pickup, as well as free 2-day shipping. This can be used as a reference for retailers to improve their delivery shipping options and services.
4. Invest more in backend operations
Nicasio also predicts that in 2019, retailers need to invest more in their back office so their operations will be improved accordingly. What they can do to improve their back-office operations should be started from the process and technology evaluation. This helps to figure out which areas need more improvement. More specifically, the retail companies can find if there are tasks or steps that keep them from giving the best customer experience.
5. Sell on multiple channels to improve sales
The modern shopping behavior has blurred the lines between online and offline retail. Retailers will need to sell on multiple channels, including online and offline. By doing this, their presence at one channel will also influence sales and brands in other channels. There is a higher possibility that customers will notice the brand and products more.