As the holiday season approaches, the world tends to slow down and reflect upon the past year. But before long the ball drops and we are ushered into the New Year. As 2017 rapidly approaches, it is important to think ahead to the trends that will shape our industry environments, to hit the ground running and set yourself, and your business, up for success.
Through our relationships, talking with customers about their continuously shifting wants and needs, we here at Profitect have some insight into the major trends of 2017, which we’d like to share. Here are three things we foresee playing a major role in retail in the coming year:
The last few years have seen a significant change in how businesses look at the standard outsourcing model. Look at Uber, for example, that turned anyone with a vehicle into a potential employee. Amazon took a page out of their book as well, leveraging outsourcing to expand their delivery organization in rural areas. Ultimately, it proves that the right outsourcing strategy for the distribution of goods and services can achieve a faster, cost-effective result with minimum assets on the balance sheet. This can be quite the benediction for retailers, making it unlikely they will ignore the opportunity in 2017.
Growth of subscription box services
One of the most interesting emerging retail trends is the subscription box service, such as Dollar Shave Club or Blue Apron. The key to their success is anticipating customer wants and needs before they realize it themselves – how else can you explain the success in delivering products that buyers didn’t specifically order? As retailers continue to take a hyper-targeted approach to customer interaction, made possible through data analytics, subscription box services are likely to increase in popularity. Especially as some retailers forego brick-and-mortar in favor of data-heavy online strategies.
Expansion of Multi-Channel Retailers
One of the most prominent debates of the retail industry is how to most effectively break down the emphasis on brick-and-mortar versus online presence. Amazon proved this year that you cannot solely rely on one, as the ecommerce behemoth opened its first physical location in 2016. The most successful businesses are asking, “why not both?” In 2017, we will see retailers expanding into new venues to increase their online sales, as well as drive traffic to the stores themselves. Retailers will also take further ownership of their distribution channels, to create the most seamless experience for customers who expect ease of transaction.
A reoccurring theme you may notice in each of these predictions is a tactical shift in business operations. More than ever retailers are looking to cut wasteful spending, allocate resources to the highest impact channels, and put the consumer front and center, all with increased flexibility. Taking these trends to heart will be key to driving success in 2017.