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Retail Industry Trends & Predictions for the Second Half of 2013, July-December

Significant Emerging Retail Issues, Opportunities, Challenges for Retailing

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Apple Prepares For iPad Announcement Tomorrow
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News
Updated June 23, 2014

<< Continued from Page One <<

Beyond the unknown news events that are sure to capture the attention of retail industry professionals and investors in the second half of 2013, there are certain retail trends that will demand the attention of retail leaders despite the daily headlines. Here’s a roundup of what industry analysts and experts are predicting to be the emerging trends in the retail industry for the second half of 2013.

  • Better over bigger is an obvious trend that will continue in the second half of 2013 in the U.S. retail marketplace saturated with choices. The largest U.S. retail chains will continue to "rightsize" with fewer stores and smaller formats because consumers have made it clear that more is not better - better is better. Retailers that focus on making things better for the customer more than making things better for the shareholders will finish 2013 in a better position with both.

  • Improved service and customer engagement with cross-channel fulfillment is an important trend that will give customers the high-tech/high-touch experience they are looking for, according to a June 2013 report from business consulting firm Cognizant and Retail Info Systems News.

  • Voluntary data exchange rather than involuntary data mining will be a key trend for retailers that place high value on customer trust. Data lockers and self-tracking are two innovative ways that retailers are collecting relevant data about shoppers without infringing on their privacy or betraying their trust. Finding ways to connect promotional offers with customer-controlled data management will be a key competitive trend according to consulting firm Willard Bishop.

    Related story: The Dangers of Retail Website Data Mining and Personalization



  • Home delivery from brick and mortar retail locations "is going to become a point of differentiation among retailers" according to Bob Willett, former CEO of Best Buy and keynote speaker at the 2013 Retail Executive Summit

  • In-store self-service technology with personalized customer service available when needed is a trend that consumers are hoping to see in brick-and-mortar stores according to the 2013 Cisco Customer Experience Report. Retailers who provide access to the kind of merchandise data and payment functions that are now only accessible to retail store employees will be on the leading edge of this trend in the second half of 2013.

  • Organized crime and fraud is a growing retail trend according to the NRF's annual Organized Retail Crime survey. It will take strong and innovative leaders to protect company assets without damaging customer relationships by adopting global policies based on the premise that every consumer is a potential thief.

    Related: REI Changes Its Return Policy For All Because of the Sins of the Few



  • Offering exclusive brands, merchandise, and services is a trend that appeals to today's consumers and also creates a unique selling proposition for a retailer. But merchandise and deals that are offered "exclusively" online or in physical stores may succeed in directing traffic in the short-term and alienate customers who see it as a hassle in the long-term. Customers empowered by technology continue to insist that they want what they what, where they want it, how they want it, and when they want it. Retailers that are best at responding to empowered shoppers especially during the 2013 Christmas holiday shopping season will end 2013 as winners.

  • Utilizing solicited and unsolicited customer feedback from omni-channel sources is an essential trend for maintaining valuable customer relationships, according to Gary Edwards, chief customer officer at Empathica. Leading edge retailers will not only proactively address customer concerns in a plethora of communication channels, they will also aggregate this customer feedback data to make global changes to retail operations.

  • Making a clear brand promise and delivering on the promise of that brand will be a key trend that retailers will use to capture and keep customers who have unlimited retail access and choices, according to a report from the Food Marketing Institute. Brand identity always starts with a meaningful and achievable company mission statement and the retailers that align decisions at all levels with their mission, vision and values will strengthen their retail business from the inside out in 2013.
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