A look at Sephora’s “Virtual Artist” app, which allows users to try on lipstick colors, lashes, and full looks across a range of brands. (Photo: AR Post)

 

 

As we close the books on the busiest shopping season of the year, it’s time to look ahead at what’s in store (pun intended) for retail this year.

Five Predictions for The New Retail Space

Retail providing unique experiences, not just services:

Gone are the days that consumers only go into a Brick & Mortar store with the expectation to buy an item. Today’s consumers are looking for unique experiences  when they opt to shop in person vs. online. When consumers go into Sephora, many are looking to experience the products by way of makeovers and sampling. It’s important retailers offer these types of experiences as it creates opportunities to develop more engaging ways to build affinity and loyalty between shoppers and retailers.

See how we helped unique corner store experience Foxtrot Markets set up their new location in Bucktown.

 

Smart learning for smart retailers:

We’re in the age of machine learning and if retailers haven’t embraced these new technologies, they’ll likely spend 2019 playing catch-up. AI (artificial intelligence) is playing an integral role in how retailers operate in back-end capacity, supporting warehouse and inventory logistics as well as integrating within in-home technologies to enhance the consumer experience in stores based on voice-recognition data. This will pave the way for more seamless customer shopper journeys that might start at home and end up at a Sephora, enhanced through AI and smart learning devices and being integrated into how that consumer shops in-store.

 

Cash is no longer king:

2019 has many new ways for consumers to make purchases, through various technology platforms and offerings. One way? Platforms that offer payment plans and structures, paving way for consumers to make bigger purchases and spreading payments over a longer duration. Mobile phones are becoming a one-stop-shop when it comes to making payments, which means that a device in a consumer’s hand can capture content, promote the retail experience through social media and be a consumer’s wallet with payment apps.

 

Augmented reality brings the store to consumers’ homes:

Retailers (both Brick & Mortar as well as e-commerce) are reviving augmented reality technology to help consumers make purchasing decisions, especially for larger furniture items. These technologies help consumers see how products will look in-home, which supplements the in-person components of trying and experiencing these items in-store.

 

Using storefronts as a service:

WeWork has a huge community of members and its latest venture, WeMrkt, is allowing its community to sell their goods while also creating a marketplace for its members based on social purpose purchase drivers. Expect to see more of these concepts in 2019 which check multiple consumer boxes by leveraging the millennial’s inclination to shop brands that align with their goals, along with new and innovative methods of presenting and recreating the in-store retail experience.

 

Get to Know Morgan Li

Bring us your wildest designs. Your boldest plans. We want to see them, engineer them and build them. And more.

For over 75 years, the Morgan Li team has specialized in taking our retail and hospitality clients’ plans from concept to rollout, matching specifications and smashing expectations.

Whether you need wood, metal, or print, we’re here to engineer and deliver the furniture, fixtures, graphics, and more needed to deliver an unforgettable experience. Get to know more about who we arehow we work, and who we’ve helped—and contact us to request a quote.