Omnichannel still the key focus for retailers in 2016
In 2016, omnichannel will be integrated into every aspect of retail, according to Vend's recently released 2016 Retail Trends and Predictions report.
Here's a summary of the trends that we too expect will impact the retail industry this year.
More payment options
With payment solutions such as the PayPal Here Chip Card reader, Mercury and Poynt, we can expect retailers to start accepting additional payment types, most notably mobile payment technologies (i.e. Apply Pay) and EMV cards.
Mobile in click-and-collect
Retailers are increasingly experimenting with mobile to facilitate click-and-collect. One can buy via mobile and pick up in-store, using mobile to notify customers when an order is ready for pickup and vice versa, the customer notifying a store employee as they approach the store, in order to have the item(s) delivered to their car door.
Online and offline data
Retailers will start unifying their online and offline data in order to fully analyse their customers' shopping journeys, considering today's consumers go through multiple channels in their path to purchase.
There are signs that companies will continue to explore ways to remove friction from the shopping journey. Think frictionless re-ordering, offer redemption and mobile payment transactions.
In-store mobile devices
Merchants will continue to adopt in-store mobile devices such as tablet-based POS systems.
Mobile-based loyalty programs
Simply implementing rewards won't be enough to stay competitive. Consumers will come to expect personalised rewards, and retailers will leverage technology to meet these expectations.
Retail pure-plays will disappear, so retailers will need to merge brick-and-mortar with e-commerce stores, while retailers that already have both are working to further bridge different shopping channels.
Single-view and cloud-based solutions
More and more retailers are switching to single-view retail management systems. Omnichannel will also drive more retailers to adopt cloud-based apps.
Omnichannel fraud management
Omnichannel fraud management will continue to be a challenge for the retail industry, so we should start to see an increase in the number of retailers consolidating their fraud management efforts across channels.
Social media in the omnichannel mix
We expect more retailers to adopt social selling solutions such as Soldsie (selling through comments) and Like2Buy (user generated content galleries), as well as social networks to continue investing in social commerce, and users to continue using social networks to discover and talk about products.
Less is more
Stocking up on more merchandise won't cut it anymore. Merchants will learn that they need to thoughtfully curate items, rather than simply stock more merchandise.
It's no longer about having the widest selection, but rather the best and most relevant assortments for their target market and being able to deliver their products using the preferred retail channel of each customer.
Internet of Things
More retailers will look into ways they can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) in their locations. In 2016, expect retailers to use connected devices to streamline in-store shopping and communicate with shoppers.