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Retail Trends for 2020

Disruption, Responsibility and Veganism – effects on POS and retail

We’ve been saying (for what seems like many, many years) that one of the key upcoming retail trends will be a move towards enhancing engagement in store through digitalisation. The pace may be slower than first imagined, but its arrived with the increased introduction of RFID technologies, digital shelf edge labels and augmented reality.

Our experience over the past 25 years has seen many retail ups and downs for the high street for big retailers and big brands. The shock departure of Thomas Cook last year still has rippling effects across the industry – the dent in consumer confidence is massive and spreads from the travel industry throughout all consumer areas. Times are definitely changing, unsettled, disrupted…

Aldi has reported a massive 8% increase on sales over Christmas 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, suggesting that shoppers attitudes have changed. The grocery industry will look very different by the end of 2020. Disruption of a once steady and fairly easy to use retail environment is huge and our prediction is that 2020 will see major disruption techniques, deliberately performed to shake up this market.

Amazon is now positioned to take on clothing and grocery retail in a way never seen before. Consumers will learn new techniques, build new affiliations and shop in life-changing ways. Physical stores will be unrecognisable, no longer a place to visit to browse, purchase and leave but instead visit for entertainment, education, socialising all delivered with a personalised, tailor-made approach to each and every customer.

Reducing our carbon footprint will become forefront of consumers minds, handling waste in an environmentally efficient manner, moving away from plastics and unnecessary packaging will rise to the top of consumers agendas.

Perhaps one of the more surprising retail trends towards veganism may not on the surface appear to be appropriate to this debate, however, it does indicate a consumer move. New beliefs and new ways to live, result in new ways to shop, consumers look for different attributes in the products they buy. At Greggs, just 16% of the people buying their recently introduced vegan sausage roll are actually vegan, with the remaining 84% are simply seeking meat alternatives as they adopt a ‘flexitarian’ way of living and shopping.

Consumer communications need to be brought in line and almost shape the retail trends. Packaging is now at the forefront of the consumers minds, product sourcing is more important than ever, product labelling must be changed.

Retailers and brands need to move quickly to be ahead of the consumer move, the climate, the environment are key to future success.

The way we manage waste as a business and indeed reduce our carbon footprint is high on our agenda and will be a key focus over 2020 and the future. Sustainability and environmental responsibility is of increasing importance for our clients which we are committed to leading.

Another retail trend in 2020 will be the rise of POP up shops – which offer stand out experiences, with huge impact. Both external in areas like Covent Garden and internally in large shopping centres brands are using POP-ups for a variety of reasons – not solely for an immediate transactional service. For example, Avery recently ran a POP-up campaign to entice shoppers into their purpose built house – the interactive pop=up allowed children to colour in labels and add them to a wall to build a house, making labels fun, multi-use, an attractive stand out product for parents to purchase whilst gathering customer insight, whilst the children were entertained the accompanying adult was surveyed on their perception of the brand  providing quality, honest and valuable feedback for the brand to plan their future marketing strategies on.

Not only are consumers becoming savvy but so are retailers and brands and this is the theme for 2020 we all need to get smarter in many ways!