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What's in store for retail in 2017?

Posted on 5 Jan 2017 in , ,

It’s that time of year when everyone comes up with suggested trends for the year ahead. We thought we’d take a look at some of the best ones…

Tech on the rise

We’ve looked into our crystal ball and we think 2017 is set to be the year of retail tech. Yes, the new year will be the year in which tech will create more connected customers. As this article says: “Trends and innovations in 2017 will be centred around the connected consumer. As shoppers purchase through multiple channels and grow used to the convenience of online shopping, they are beginning to expect a similar service in physical retail stores. This is leading to an increasing need for retailers to connect the customer experience across all consumer touch points effectively and seamlessly.”

No look at the near future of retail would be complete without mention of drones. Now that Amazon has just made its first delivery by drone, expect to see a lot more interesting developments over the next 12 months and beyond!

Innovation to increase

As we’ve blogged before, customer expectations are continually rising. And retailers need to keep up. The leaders will do so in the year ahead. Forbes says that 2017 will mark the beginning of retail’s Uberization. In its view, “Businesses from Uber to Amazon establish their credibility in core competencies and then expand out from there…Physical retailers will borrow a leaf from this same playbook, thinking about novel ways to quickly get products into the hands of customers – and also drumming up new products and services to offer that will seem a bit unusual, even unorthodox, and that will likely raise a few eyebrows.”

Sounds exciting to us!

Insight is a winner

Is 2017 likely to be the year in which retailers get even closer to their customers? We think so. Through better multi-channel data integration retailers should be able to gain better insight into their business and their customers: “In 2017, no less than 40% of new retail applications purchased will be deployed in the cloud to speed and secure business objectives.”

(Source: http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/idc-retail-insights-top-10-predictions-global-retail)

The new year is anticipated to set the scene for more finely honed use of artificial intelligence for greater personalisation, giving customers “a more targeted and personalised shopping experience.” And we all know how big personalisation is going to get in the near future.

Mobile gets bigger

You thought that mobile was already big in retail? Here at Upright, we believe it’s only going to get bigger in 2017. Drapers Online quotes new research which suggests that: “As the smartphone becomes the dominant platform for online shopping retailers are relying on social media and the latest apps to promote their products. Mobile innovations will provide an immersion experience to the consumer through 360 degree views and virtual reality to asses fit.”

Research for the year ahead and beyond suggests that retailers will invest significantly in their tech to ensure that they don’t miss out on the seemingly endless mobile revolution: “Retail mobile enablement will triple mobile investments in 2017 and double spending on wireless infrastructure through 2019”.

As we see it, 2017 looks like it’s going to be an exciting year for retailers, one in which the winners will make the most of tech, data and innovation to get closer to their customers.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments box below!

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