Retail Retrospective: A Look at Industry Trends

December 27, 2016

With the official start of 2017 underway, the industry is abuzz with predictions about what the new year will bring. While it’s always interesting to speculate about what’s on the horizon, it’s also important to reflect upon what’s recently taken place.

With that in mind, Amplience’s CEO and founder, James Brooke, recently wrote about the implications of some of the industry’s current trends in his column for Multichannel Merchant. James believes that 2016 was a banner year for retailers to employ technologies that enable them to better understand and cater to the unique needs of their shoppers in a number of areas. Among them:

Customer Journey

The days of single-device shopping are gone. Today, consumers shop across a variety of platforms and often start and finish their purchase journey on different devices with multiple stops in between. For example, browsing a website via a smartphone, researching a particular item in more detail on a desktop computer and then finally purchasing it on a tablet. Along this path to purchase, customers have little patience for a confusing website that does not look and act the same across all platforms. That’s why responsive design has become a critical tool in retailers’ ecommerce arsenal.

Millennial Shoppers

This group is now of age with greater disposable income, making them a key demographic for many brands. One way in which retailers are catering to millennials is by bolstering their social media presence and taking advantage of things like user-generated content (UGC) and shoppable content. As James elaborates in his piece, these innovations enable retailers to get closer to their customers and also increase sales by reaching new potential buyers.

Make it Personal

Brands have been clamoring for ways to deliver a more personalized experience since the earliest days of ecommerce. However, legacy content management systems have prevented this for a variety of reasons. The good news is that a new breed of CMS has emerged that allows retailers to deliver a personalized experience on a granular level.

Take a look at James’ article to see more of his thoughts on the above and other recent retail trends. As 2017 gets underway, we’ll be keeping an eye on how they evolve and what new technologies emerge to help retailers compete more effectively across channels.

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