7 trends that will drive retail in 2020

Mar 10, 2020, 1108 views

The NRF - Retail's Big Show, epicenter of the main and fastest discussions about the future of retail, brought together in New York almost 40 thousand people to debate and listen to major players in the market - CEOs of brands such as Apple, Walmart, Nordstrom, Starbucks, among others - on what should move the market in 2020 (and in the coming years).

What we saw were new approaches and hot topics. The concept of Omnichannel, perhaps the great theme of the last editions, has given way to terms such as: Digital Store, Social Retail and Collaboration. From these three main points, I have listed 7 takeaways that should move discussions this year:

1. Coopetition and Collaboration
The speed required by the market has led brands to seek collaborations and new partnerships for the development and signature of their products and collections, the result of digital culture.

The association of brands with similar purposes and willing to innovate more frequently in their deliveries to consumers is increasingly welcome. Or, often, even competitors, if it brings benefits to both parties.

2. Physical store is the new media
"What is your function?" and “what is it really?” - they are questions asked to exhaustion in all retail meetings in the world. That's because selling is no longer the sole purpose of a physical store.

This materialization in a physical space also concerns brand building and engagement, in addition to the sale itself. According to Lee Peterson, CEO of WD Partners, the physical store is not just there to distribute products, but to build brand value.

In addition, the physical space can still be a new media model for branding, without making the brand hostage to digital media, which today work with increasingly higher costs.

3. The revival of the physical store
Another topic is the revival of the physical store, its new direction and how stores have sought to review their investments in brand promotion only in digital. Also according to Lee Peterson's speech, during the NRF, there is a maxim that “in 2010 everyone needed a website, in 2015 everyone needed an e-commerce and in 2020 everyone needs a physical store” .

Would it be a return to the origins, in view of new formats and management models? As the store begins to take on this role as a proprietary source, one begins to understand that it has this strength, taking advantage of the disadvantages of online shopping (without experimentation, shipping, reverse logistics, among other points) and the showroom, purely a shop window.

DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands need to be available to consumers for experimentation, and new “department store” formats emerge as showrooms for these brands.

4. Retailment
An increasingly strong concept is that of Retail + Entertainment. In other words: enough of a boring store, which is a product deposit and only with salespeople interacting. Stores like this are doomed to fail.

Retail now seeks entertainment in the physical space. Still in this wave, the term ROE (Return over Experience) is standing out from ROI (Return over Investment).

What we see are physical stores with a calmer sales environment, without friction, pleasant to be with, whether to go for a walk, have a class, get to know the product, buy at home. Today, Slow Sell is the focus of many brands. Within these concepts, we see many stores with a restaurant, café, bar, lounge for socializing, classes, courses and personal shopper - and these brands trying to tell their storytelling in the physical space.

5. Rent, Resale, Refurbish
A very strong movement in retail is renting - Rent / Resale, which is the sale of used parts or the rental of them. And Refurbishment, which is the sale of a refurbished product or, often, a new product built with the raw material of another reused part.

It is a concept that involves the term 'Conscious Fashion', a more conscious retailer that has dominated the market in general - from fashion brands to food brands.

6. Diversity and Inclusion
Accessibility in the architectural design of the stores, with bathrooms with no definition of gender and visual identity to meet this demand, are some of the examples of how brands are communicating in the physical space in a more inclusive and diverse way, including the selection of vendors for the stores. , from different ethnicities and genders.

The collections are also already thought to meet this need: they are divided by female, male and unisex, that is, a collection without gender. It is a consensus that brands that are not prepared to deal with awareness and inclusion, in their entire production chain, will have problems with their consumers.

7. Social Retail
In his talk at the NRF, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said: "Starbucks is helping humans to have more time to be human" - and this has a direct bearing on the Social Retail trend.

It is what we call “Third Place”. We already have our first social space, which is our home; the second is our work, and now there is the “Third Place”, a place where we get distracted and live together.

Within this logic, it is from this third sphere that retailers want to take ownership, by proposing brand experiences based on empathy (understanding new issues in society, for example).

It is not by chance that a word widely used in the NRF is the word “community”. Some stores considered Community Stores bring designers, collaborators, producers from the region to the store and connect these professionals to the local community.

In addition to providing services to this community as well, such as classes, tips, recycling, social connection and etc. That is, every brand needs a social purpose that encompasses its business model.

In this sense, participating in the NRF is always a lesson on how simple and creative solutions, with an eye towards the operation and consumer behavior globally, can reinvent a business model.

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