How the retail industry has changed over the past decade

From shifting customer attitudes, to developing business technology, there’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to evolving business trends. Particularly in the last 10 years, retail businesses have adopted new strategies, new ideologies, and new products to keep customers happy on a daily basis.

In this article, we’ll explain how the retail industry has changed over the past decade and how you can make sure your company is prepared to keep up with all the changes.

retail industryA broader sales funnel

The last decade has seen some serious changes to how people purchase products. While customers were beginning to see the value of online shopping ten years ago, brick-and-mortar stores were still a popular means of finding the goods and services they’re looking for. However, in 2019, the sales funnel has broadened substantially, and you need to branch out digitally if you want to keep up.

As well as online stores, social media marketing has become an integral part of any retail business strategy. Not only does marketing help spread the word about your business, but it’s also become a hugely popular avenue for customers to purchase products. In fact, social media platforms are the number one source of inspiration for many purchases, with 37% of customers citing these networks as the primary driver in buying a product.

Outside of social media, there’s a wide range of tactics you can employ to give your business an added boost beyond standard brick-and-mortar, and online sales. Perhaps the most effective is to personalize your customers’ buying process.

Customers require personalization

Ten years ago, the retail experience was pretty straightforward. You walk in, find your product, buy it, and walk out. But in 2019, customers are looking for a more personalized experience and they aren’t afraid to be vocal about it.

With 90% of customers finding personalization in a business appealing and 80% being more likely to make a purchase from a brand offering personalized experiences, it’s safe to say this is an important factor for retail businesses in 2019.

Tragically, relatively few retail businesses in the industry have caught on to this trend, which means you could make a noticeable impact by adopting some simple customer personalization strategies. You just have to take advantage of all the tech out there.

A whole lot of tech

As with any business, the last ten years have seen a dramatic influx of technology that can make running a company in the retail industry easier.

One technology that can be game-changing for your personalizing your customers’ experiences is the retail POS system. Besides helping to manage your sales and inventory, the best providers include features that let you start loyalty programs for customers, and integrate digital marketing strategies. You can then provide personalized offers on the items your shoppers buy the most, or follow up with them through a weekly newsletter.

The most essential technology you need to employ however, is a mobile-optimized website. The rise in popularity of smartphones has made mobile shopping a paradigm-shifting trend rather than a passing fad. In fact, almost half of all consumers utilize mobile phones for shopping, which is a substantial portion of your customer base you shouldn’t ignore.

By taking advantage of modern technology, you can streamline a wide range of business duties through automated processes and data analysis. This gives you the power to truly tap into your potential customer base, and see that no purchases slip through the cracks when it comes to your patrons.