How Retail is Changing

How Retail is Changing

Another Black Friday has come and gone; though early predictions indicate sales increased this year (particularly online), it will be days before the true impact of this weekend’s shopping is determined. In the wake of our country’s ongoing economic crisis, with home values down and unemployment up, retailers are finding new ways to augment the bottom line, connecting with consumers and using social media to delight customers.

Here are some ways the retail experience is changing this year.

Pop-up Stores. eBay opened a 5000 square foot store in Manhattan to boost online sales. Mainstream retailers like Toys R Us and JCPenney are opening extra temporary stores for the holiday season. Pop-up stores, which may be seen by some as a capitulation since mall owners can demand longer lease terms in better times, are a sign of creative marketing and flexibility.

Specialization. New companies, both online and traditional, are finding customers by presenting unique products. Often both hand-made and high-end, these new products are produced, marketed, and sold with special care that gives a customer a memorable experience and builds brand loyalty. Many of the most successful new specialized products are created to be environmentally and socially conscious, so consumers can feel good about their purchases on many levels.

Technology. Companies are leveraging social media with increasing effectiveness and creativity. Stores use their Facebook fan pages to announce special sales; chains announce specials via Twitter. Corporations use Twitter to monitor and respond to customer service issues in instanteous and satisfying ways. Retailers are no longer waiting for customers to come to them; instead they are engaging and interacting with people in their own online environments.

Undoubtedly, the leaders in the retail market — in any market will— be those companies who are anticipating the trends of the future and implementing them proactively.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

Filed As:  retail, trends

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • I have been around retail since old enough to remember and none of this is new.
    E-bay in NY is to creat buzz, they need it. Retailers always have done this.
    Retailers have always opened up small venues in spots (outlet malls etc) Hickory Farms…people like Toys R Us are doing this for the holiday season and will be gone.
    Specialization is and has a been a staple, retailers find areas to make money- if green does it, that is even better.
    Again, retail goes with how to get the word out and social media is a new way for retail to use that to gain customers (Gigi’s has done this well with twitter, Five Guys, too)Funny you didn’t mention web based advertising. Retail has used this for placement$$ much better. So, if you have any media, that works, retail will use it.
    What is different in retail? Just like everyone else: Using less people, watching inventory turns, controlling costs, watching margins and having very, very good buyers (I would say that is still one of the most important things, buyers with good sense of culture and price.)
    Just my two cents worth,

  • While the future of businesses always depended on keeping up with times, more and more customers are switching their shopping habits to the comfort of their own home. One can only wonder what lies in store for the future as less people are going out to shop.

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