Published On: 09-Jul-2020

Global Retail Market – 

Global Retail market was valued at USD 245.73 billion in 2018 and it is expected to reach USD 361.27 billion in 2025 growing at a CAGR of 5.66% over forecast period. 

The market for the sale of goods or services to consumers rather than producers or intermediaries. For example, a retail clothing store sells to people who will (most likely) wear the clothes. It does not include the sale of the clothes to other stores who will resell them. The retail market contrasts with the wholesale market. 

The market provides products such as food, apparel, furniture, jewelry, and various others. Apart from this, the stores can be classified into the convenience store, specialty retailer, internet retailing, and various others. 

Global Retail Industry Trends 2020 

The retail industry is going through an enormous amount of change. Customer behavior is changing, and their expectations are higher than ever. It is important for retailers to understand some key industry trends in order to ensure that their businesses are successful now, and for years to come. 

Invest in Omni channel Retail Strategies – 

One of the most important retail industry trends is investment in?Omni channel retail strategies. Research shows that the average digital consumer owns?3.64 connected devices?and tends to consult these devices prior t0o making a purchase. Consumers may look at an item on their mobile and complete the purchase on their iPad, or they may search for an item on the web and pick it up in the store later. The ubiquity of connected devices means that consumers demand a seamless experience across multiple touch points.? 

Some retailers are already tapping into?mobile shopping?in innovative ways. For example,?Dixons Carphone?– one of our customers – is Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer. They wanted to create a unique shopping experience for their customers, one that is seamless and free of any friction. They used MuleSoft’s?Anypoint Platform?to develop honeyBee, a platform that sales associates can use on mobile tablets to provide an interactive?customer journey. Through the application, customers can navigate through a consistent journey alongside sales associates from exploring purchasing options to comparing services and products.? 

Provide a Personalized Retail Experience – 

Another retail industry trend that is becoming increasingly important to consumers is having a?personalized shopping experience. Personalization in the retail world often involves retailers giving consumers suggestions based on their taste, location, order history, and previous searches. Retailers also create personalized experiences through simple services. This includes chat-bots that increase customer engagement and interaction, text messages that provide updates on orders, online- and tele based communications, and other services. 

Further, the rise of personalization as a retail industry trend has paved way for the application of more advanced and innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). For example, an online flower delivery store, uses an AI-powered?personal assistant?that learns each customer’s preferences and predicts suitable gifts for every order. Retailers that want to provide consumers with unique personalized shopping experiences must invest in advanced technologies – AI or otherwise – and look beyond basic personalization tactics. 

Attend to the Growing Culture of Immediacy – 

The rise of technology has led to a prevalent cultural and retail industry trend: impatient consumers. Today’s consumers want immediate results and retailers need to both speed up and expand their services in order to respond to the culture of immediacy. Some of these services includes presenting and updating inventory in real-time, restocking stock quickly, offering same-day delivery services, setting-up delivery-lockers, and providing scheduled deliveries. However, these services are challenging to incorporate, as retailers must have an efficient?supply chain?in order to support them.? 

One retailer that needed to address changing customer behavior and fast delivery services is Addison Lee, one of our partners. Addison Lee is Europe’s largest premium car services and operates in over 350 cities, transporting 10 million passengers annually. Addison recognized that their customers’ behavior was changing. Customers no longer wanted to order a taxi through phone calls or pay for their trips with cash. To address these changing customer demands, Addison Lee turned to MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform to build its first?public API?in just six weeks. As a result, they were able to create new customer-centric mobile applications easily in order to enhance customer experiences. Retailers that want to survive in the industry must embark on a path to upend their customer engagements and ensure they are attending to the growing culture of immediacy. 

Expand into Emerging Markets and Create New Channels – 

One common retail industry trend is the ability to tap into new markets and channels. Technology has made it easier for retailers to tap into international and emerging markets that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Retailers are no longer confined to a single location or market and many of them are able to expand their operations overseas by following an effective digital strategy. By following a digital-first strategy, retailers can move beyond existing traditional borders and tap into new and emerging markets in order to increase their customer reach.? 

The Alibaba Group, for example, plans to expand its global reach to Australia, Dubai, Europe, and Japan. The Chinese e-commerce giant will likely largely benefit from this expansion. Evidently the majority of these retail industry trends involve businesses taking control of their retail strategy––whether it is?integrating systems and applications?to implement?Omni channel?strategies or building an efficient supply chain to better serve customers and meet their demands. Technology is key to building and offering?retail APIs?to enable mobile payments and promote consumer personalization.? 

Embrace the Digital Mobile Wallet – 

One emerging fintech and retail industry trend is the use of mobile as a payment method. A study commissioned by?Bank of America?surveyed 1,000 of its adult customers that own a smartphone. The study found that the overwhelming majority – 91% – viewed their smartphones as an “indispensable companion” in daily life.?Certain retailers have caught onto this retail industry trend and are already providing seamless mobile payments by?adopting APIs. Approximately 36% of U.S. retailers that were surveyed stated that they accept Apple Pay, and 22% said they plan to accept it within the next 12 months.? 

But the rise of the digital wallet demonstrates that there is growing consumer demand for flexible payment methods beyond Apple Pay. A growing number of the retailers surveyed also indicated they accept PayPal (34%), MasterCard PayPass (25%), and Android Pay (24%). In fact, only 11% of retailers revealed that they have no plans to implement mobile payments in their stores in the near future.?Therefore, to better thrive in the industry, retailers must ensure that they provide flexible payment methods such as mobile payments.

Socially conscious consumers driving ethical retail – 

A new breed of consumer base who are socially conscious, conscientious and knowledgeable when it comes to purchasing are making their buying decisions based on many factors beyond price. In fact, environmental concerns and social consciousness have even led many consumers to change their shopping habits. These new consumers, led and influenced by millennia’s, are wielding influence on retailers and forcing them to take action. As consumers are becoming more aware of what their lifestyle choices are doing to the planet, they are demanding brands and businesses react accordingly. This trend has resulted in brands having to keep in mind the image their brand conveys to the world and work on incorporating environmental, social, economic and ethical considerations into their business practices, matching consumers changing values and world views. 

A customer-centric approach – 

It’s all about keeping the customer in the center of its business. Customized consumer-centricity continues to drives growth and progress in the market. Brands that have remained grounded, done their homework of listening to the customers and picking up the relevant consumer insights will keep growing. These are the brands that have come up with new offerings which resonate with the customers, and are finding the market responding favourably.?Customer centricity?is not just about offering great customer service, it means offering a great experience from the awareness stage, through the buying process, by facilitating the purchase with initiatives like consumer finance and consumer offers and finally through the post-purchase process. In the coming year too, the industry needs to continuously evolve with the people and the changing aspirations and lifestyle needs, reinvent itself to offer innovative products, keeping in mind the ever evolving customer. 

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