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What 2018 has in store for retail

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The e-commerce space has always been sought after as a dynamic and rather competitive domain, especially in India. Existing and emerging players in this booming space are constantly innovating to keep up with the rapid pace of growth.

What 2018 beholds for retail?
xisting and emerging players in this booming space are constantly innovating to keep up with the rapid pace of growth

There’s a real-time disruption taking place every minute with changing trends and an evident race to differentiate between businesses. The furniture retail industry, perhaps one of the most fragmented industry is gaining momentum and the key to retaining and keeping customers engaged is to offer great shopping experiences and not just designs.

With the onset of 2018, it is time to be aware of the trends that will dictate the retail landscape.

Bringing the Focus Back to Brick-and-Mortar

Omnichannel has come of age. In the recent times, many online retailers have begun to realise the importance of having an Omnichannel strategy to offer cutting-edge consumer experiences. The brick-and-mortar strategy has undergone a transformation in the form of physical studios and experience centres to provide a touch and feel of products to potential customers before they make a purchase. They ensure higher engagement levels and offer a seamless experience – the secret sauce to drive more sales. Online home and furniture players like Pepperfry have adopted this strategy and established 23 studios across the country that provide bespoke home shopping experiences to consumers and plan to expand to newer markets in 2018.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Transcending from the virtual world replete with personal shoppers to personal recommendation technology is the future of retail. In 2018, it is likely to dominate the digital landscape wherein consumers will choose to shop with brands that display customer centricity in every medium of interaction be it desktop, mobile or offline. Using superior AR/VR technologies consumers will look forward to having an immersive online experience before embarking the purchase journey.

Digital Payments

E-commerce is witnessing an exponential growth with digital money replacing cash -this will be a dominating trend. Digital and cashless payments will be simplified replete with a bouquet of offerings that will entail brands providing multiple payment options. It will only grow as consumers integrate digital devices into their shopping habits.

Personalised Consultation

Personalization is the defining consumer behaviour for 2018. As more and more consumers vie for personal shopping experiences. Therefore, complementing the brick and mortar trend will be an increase in personalised consultations adopted by multiple brands. Pepperfry experts at each of the brand Studios are well equipped to assist consumers in creating beautiful homes through expert consultancy services.

Faster Delivery of Products with Free Shipping

The way to build, sell and deliver online is changing. Enhanced shipping features and speedy delivery is a going to be a norm. With customers looking forward to receiving the products at a lightning speed and drone deliveries dominating the next phase of disruption in the segment specialised ways to deliver products will be a key focus. Therefore, robust logistics and supply chain development is anticipated with a thrust on new innovations.

Push Notifications and Rise in Social Marketing

Times are changing and it is evident in the challenging e-commerce landscape. Wherein consumer engagement has become an integral part of any marketing toolkit. An essential goal of online selling is to drive user engagement and reengagement. Therefore, push notifications are expected to be utilised as effective reminder tools to achieve this goal by constantly keeping shoppers engaged regarding new product launches, special offers and abandoned cart reminders. There is an increased thrust on content, yes, it is still the king. More and more brands will use content to make themselves relevant and drive differentiation.