Will 2020 be the year of elevated shopping experiences?
The last decade is over and hopefully with it an end to talk of the retail apocalypse. The current decade starts off with a new class of retailers focused on improving the shopping experience for consumers in various ways. Here are my predictions for 2020 and beyond.
Temporary pop-ups to permanent homes
With companies like Pop Up Grocer, a traveling pop-up grocery store concept, and Allbirds proving out this low-risk strategy, many are now taking their learnings into longer leases. In 2020 and beyond, expect to see more pop-ups expand to fully-fledged brick and mortar locations.
Mass services to individualized attention
Long gone are the days of throwing a “lounge” or “cafe” into your retail store and calling it the future. These generic hospitality moments will be replaced with individualized services and recommendations that are contextually relevant to each customer’s needs.
High street to highly unique
In 2019, brands flocked to the high street with Soho, Venice and Melrose helping brands get noticed. Similar to Abercrombie & Fitch taking over the Hoxton hotel and Chanel creating an Atelier inside an apartment, expect more brands to turn hotels, gyms and even subways into shoppable destinations for their customers to work, shop and play.
Data collection to data instant
Chief marketing officers are feeling the pressure with the expectation that their retail efforts must perform in both the short and long-term. Rather than employing back-end beacon technology as the only way to measure store performance, we are seeing companies like eBay and Neiman Marcus engage real-time tech solutions that deliver measurable experiences for their guests.
Full-service to retail-as-a-service
With pop-ups getting more common, smaller emerging brands are looking for more flexible solutions for testing clicks to bricks. Retail-as-a-service concepts like Showfields, The Market @Macy’s and Neighborhood Goods taking the brunt out of labor-intensive store build-outs and long-term leases, digitally native brands now have an interim solution. In the year ahead, we can expect “the most interesting store in the world” to be a regular occurrence.
Visitors to members
Consumers are looking to add richness to their lives with membership clubs that provide a sense of belonging and quality subscriptions that solve a problem above anything else. As the selfie museum is declining; people are looking to retail spaces like The Wonder, Ethel’s Club and Rise by We to connect and enrich their points of view.
- Pop Up Grocer
- A&F Creating Traveling Holiday Pop-up – WWD
- Chanel Just Launched a First-of-its-kind Beauty Atelier in NYC — And It’s Every Makeup Lover’s Dream – Travel + Leisure
- Verizon Media Doubles Down on Commerce and Launches Holiday Campaign with eBay – eBay
- Neiman Marcus Partners with Google, Plans More Personalized Experiences – design:retail
- The Most Interesting Store In The World – Showfields
- The Market @ Macy’s: A Boutique Marketplace in the Department Store – Macy’s
- Neighborhood Goods
- Magic and Wonder Is Our Mission – The Wonder
- The first private social and wellness club designed for you – Ethel’s Club
- Rise by We
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advances in shopping experience concepts and/or technology do you expect to see this year? Are there any retailers, brands or vendor concepts that stand out in this regard?