From the Pros
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a wonderful start to 2018. January is often seen as a time to reset, start fresh and plan for the upcoming year.
I came across an article in Forbes that looks at the “Top Shopping Trends of 2018,” as told by the Forbes.com retail contributor team. I want to share four of the 19 predictions that stood out to me as valuable for the garden center:
- Steering the Ship: “In the past, it was the retailer who determined what a customer should want to buy and how they should shop. Today, it’s the customer who is defining the shopping experience.” – Walter Loeb, president, Loeb Associates Inc.
- Give ‘Em New Reasons to Shop: “As consumers are spending a larger percentage of their disposable income online, retailers with physical storefronts will need to flip the incentives to entice shoppers back into the store. In the early days of the internet, retailers incentivized shoppers to spend money online by offering lower prices at their websites. Fast-forward a few years, and consumers now expect lower prices online and have all but abandoned shopping at larger physical storefronts for that reason. Savvy retailers are already starting to offer gifts with purchase and in-store discounts to try to break the new online-only consumer spending pattern. To justify the expense of their brick-and-mortar stores, retailers need to start giving time-starved consumers a reason to travel and shop in-person.” – Marcia Layton Turner, founder and executive director, the Association of Ghostwriters
- Small Is the Next Big Story at Retail: “Shoppers will return to Main Street in 2018. This trend is fueled by the desire of the highest-potential and highest-spending customers’ passion for a new shopping experience that they can’t find online, at the mall, in the national chains or in big box stores. Owners of small retail shops often feel overwhelmed by the rapidly changing retail environment, with competition on all sides and most especially from Amazon. But small business retailers have a competitive advantage that none of these bigger, better capitalized and techno-powered retailers have: their personal touch. It is realized not just through the personal service that specialty retailers offer, but by being vital members of the local community. This trend will reshape the retail landscape over the next decade.” – Pamela Danziger, president, Unity Marketing
- More Experiences: “We are going to see continued experiential marketing in both brick-and-mortar and online, giving customers a deeper and more differentiated brand experience. Restoration Hardware is deep into experiences with its bistros/wine bars in their new flagships. Restaurant 3 Arts Club in Chicago is the location of 32 marriage proposals. It’s supposedly the seventh-most Instagrammed cafe in the U.S. Experiential marketing will become more relevant with online retailers as well, like Ikea’s use of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response).” – Kathleen Kusek, principal, Marketing Services Group LLC
It’s easy to look at the doom and gloom of retail when stores are shutting their doors, but all 19 of these predictions show that with a little change it’s not as simple as “everything will be purchased online.” Check out the rest of the Forbes article. Which ones stand out to you?
Going to Market
Lastly, let me know if you’ll be at AmericasMart in Atlanta at all this week or next weekend. Hopefully I’ll see some of your faces!