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What’s Happening in Retail for 2018?

January 10, 2018

Image Credit: Urban Toronto & Erin Mills Town Centre

The combination of higher minimum wages, changing demographics and rapidly growing technologies will motivate Canadian retailers into new and improved shopping solutions for 2018. Unfortunately, 2017 was a year full of eye-opening change forcing many well-known retail chains (including Sears and Toys “R” US). to either file, or be at risk of filing for bankruptcy. With e-commerce still on the steady incline, it is now clear to understand that retail businesses that fail to accommodate the changing shopping habits may suffer dire consequences to their success.

What’s changing the Retail Scene?

The growing move to online consumerism has caused many retailers to pursue a shopping experience that mimics that of the legendary Apple store. By merging our daily needs with cool, techy enhancements allows for retailers to become more experience-focused. As this modern shift in priority is exactly what our modern consumers are looking for, the companies that have failed to keep up with these demands are now facing the bitter realities of change resistance. In a few more years, millennials will become the largest generational demographic and dominate the market even more so than now. By understanding the convenience, personalization and entertainment elements of their needs, retailers will be able to implement creative shopping features that keep customers both engaged and willing to spend.

Who’s Doing It Right?

While many sizeable, well-known companies are regretfully closing their doors, there are others that have managed to mold themselves straight into the hearts (and pockets) of their evolving customer-base. Retail heavy-weights such as Walmart and Amazon have made some bold and innovative moves in the last year. With Walmart being one of the few big grocery stores to address online shopping directly by adapting to the needs of the modern shopper. Amazon prepares to follow suit into the world of groceries with their recent purchase of the Whole Foods chain last year.

How to Keep Up

If your business is not yet operating online, it might be time to consider. With technology propelling into the direction of greater, faster and more efficient ways of living, the shopping expectations of our general public will continue to evolve.

With new tech gadgets such as the variety of Google Home models, or the recently released Echo smart speakers from Amazon, online shopping is about to become even more convenient. Voice command technology is becoming more and more sought after with the innovative convenience offered to carrying out daily tasks. Consumers will no longer be required to click their way through online purchase transactions anymore – instead, all they will have to do is inform their new voice assistant to either create a shopping list or place an order!

How About the In-Store Experience?

Retail businesses are becoming more and more creative with ways to engage their customers in the real world. By offering sophisticated services such as mobile POS, advanced appointment scheduling, VIP memberships and even Augmented Reality (AR), modern retailers can support the current goal of offering something special that customers could not otherwise experience by shopping online.

Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga has translated this philosophy into action with recent upgrades to their mall. By introducing what is believed to be Canada’s first shopping center to implement a collaborative work space, Mississauga locals now have a place to work, network, shop and unwind.

With 2018 fresh at our feet, retailers have an opportunity to get creative with new ways to impress and interact with their customers.

Happy brainstorming!

Are you looking to build or renovate a retail business that will WOW the industry? Get in touch with our BUILD IT by Design . experts for a full service, one-stop general contracting experience you can trust! Contact (905) 696-0486 or [email protected] for more information.

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