5 Retail Consumer Trends For 2023 - What You Need to Know




The retail industry is continually changing and adapting to meet the needs of consumers. As new technologies emerge and trends shift, companies must keep pace or risk falling behind. To future-proof your business, it’s important to stay informed about the latest consumer trends. This enables you to identify opportunities to meet customer needs while mitigating risks posed by new challenges in the sector. Knowing where the market is heading will give you a head start on competitors who are slower to react. This article covers five of the most significant trends impacting retail in 2023 and beyond. Read on to find out more...

Online Shopping Will Only Grow More Dominant

The growth of e-commerce is predicted to continue rapidly over the next decade. CAGR figures of 15-25% are fairly common, making this one of the most reliable trends in the sector. There are several reasons why online shopping will continue to grow. First and foremost, it’s convenient. No one wants to drive to a store, wait in line, and fight their way home with a full trolley. This can be particularly challenging in the winter when we’re all more likely to get caught in inclement weather. Online shopping allows us to avoid all of these hassles and purchase products from the comfort of our own homes. Secondly, online shopping is generally cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar retail. There are significantly lower costs associated with online inventory, logistics, and real estate. This means that consumers get lower prices on a broader range of products than would be possible in a physical store setting. Finally, online shopping is often safer than physical retail. Fraudulent credit card use, shoplifting, and other theft-related issues are much less common in e-commerce than in physical stores. As such, online shopping is the preferred method for consumers concerned about security. Besides these benefits, online shopping will likely become more immersive and engaging over the next decade. VR and AR technology will improve by leaps and bounds, making online shopping even more attractive as an option for consumers.


Voice Assistant Usage Will Increase

As voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, become more common and capable, it’s likely that their usage will increase significantly. Voice assistants are integrated into a wide range of products and services, from cars and smart appliances to smart home security systems. As such, they’re likely to be more widely used in the future. Voice assistants are appealing to consumers who prefer an intuitive, hands-free interface. They’re also useful for people with limited mobility or housebound, enabling them to make purchases and ask questions easily. As voice assistants become more common, they will likely be used in more ways. Users might start to use voice assistants more frequently to shop, control smart home features, and access information. The impact of this is twofold. First, it will increase the popularity of voice assistants among consumers. Second, it will enable voice assistants to collect user behavior and preferences data. This, in turn, will enable voice assistants to make better recommendations.

Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Become Commonplace

The popularity of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) headsets has grown steadily since their release. Once considered a niche product appealing only to early adopters, VR and AR have become their own in recent years. Newer, more user-friendly headsets, such as the Oculus Quest, have made VR more accessible to a broader range of consumers. AR, meanwhile, has been adopted by major tech companies, such as Apple and Google. As such, it has become a household technology. VR and AR are particularly attractive to retailers as they allow for the creation of immersive virtual shopping experiences. Consumers can try on different virtual outfits, view how they’ll look in the real world, and interact with sales staff who are virtually present in the room. VR and AR also allow retailers to offer a wider range of products, with AR functionality allowing the transfer of real-life objects into an AR app. For example, a car dealer could scan a real car and then place it in an AR app where customers could view and interact with it as if it were real. VR and AR also have the potential to provide augmented shopping experiences, where consumers can see virtual items placed in their physical environments, such as projected furniture on a living room floor.


Marked Improvements in AI Capabilities

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most promising technological advancements of the last few decades. It has been applied in many industries, from healthcare to business, with significant success. In retail, AI is chiefly used for analytics, fraud detection, and inventory management. As AI technology improves, it will become more capable of handling more complex tasks. This will enable retailers to improve customer experience by automating certain processes and reducing costs. One of the key drivers of improved AI capabilities is the development of more sophisticated algorithms. This will involve a great deal of research, development, and investment, with the largest players in this space investing billions. As a result of this investment, AI will become more powerful and will be able to handle increasingly complex tasks. The most significant impact of improved AI capabilities in retail will likely be customer experience. Smart assistants will be able to react more intuitively, create personalized shopping experiences, and offer a wide range of product recommendations. AI will also make more accurate forecasts, allowing retailers to better plan for demand.

Drones and Robotics Platforms Will Become Key

There is growing interest in drone technology among retailers. Drones can be used in a wide range of ways, from inventory management to delivery. As drone technology advances, we’ll likely see the introduction of more advanced drone models, including autonomous drones. A rising interest in robotics is also likely, with robotics platforms becoming increasingly common in retail. Robotics platforms like Wise-Robotics allow retailers to add or remove functionality as needed. They are particularly useful for retailers with limited resources as a single platform can be used for various functions. Robotics platforms and drones are especially useful in retail due to the large number of repetitive tasks that need to be completed. They are capable of performing tasks more consistently than humans and with less risk of error. This makes them ideal for processes such as inventory management, where precision and accuracy are key. Additionally, robotics platforms can be programmed to handle a wide range of complex tasks, such as grocery item restocking. This is particularly useful when applied to an omnichannel retail setting, where products are stocked and distributed across various retail channels (brick-and-mortar, online, etc.).

Conclusion

Retail is a constantly evolving industry. New technologies and trends emerge every year, and companies need to keep pace to stay profitable. This article covers five of the most important trends to watch out for in the retail sector in 2023 and beyond. Online shopping is likely to become even more dominant as retailers take advantage of lower costs associated with e-commerce. Voice assistants are also likely to become more common as they become more capable and products integrate them. Virtual and augmented reality headsets are expected to become more popular as they become more user-friendly, and retailers create more immersive and interactive experiences. Finally, drones and robotics will become more important in retail as they become more advanced. Drones are likely to be used for inventory management and delivery, while robotics platforms can be used for a variety of functions.


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