Experts: 2018 Shaping up to be “Retail Renaissance”
Experts cited in a recent Forbes article are looking forward to 2018 being a renaissance year for retail. Walter Loeb, the president of Loeb Associates Inc, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm, predicts 2018 will be the year of “technology and more integration of it” for mainstream retailers. Kathleen Kusek, principal of the Marketing Services Group LLC, foresees increases in “experiential marketing in both brick-and-mortar and online, giving customers a deeper and more differentiated brand experience.” Business and fashion writer Rachelle Bergstein is bullish on logistics being a defining issue for retail this year. Retailers need to offer perks “like same-day delivery, reliable delivery estimates and easy in-store pickup” to maintain customer loyalty and those that cannot “will suffer.”
Retailer Prediction for 2018: Tech, Branding, Personalization
Not only are retail experts citing technology, and personalization as critical in 2018, retailers are as well. In an article on EconomicTimes.com, Farah Malik Bhanji, the CEO of Metro Shoes Ltd, emphasizes technology won’t only be used for marketing but for thwarting cybercriminals, who will be out in force looking for new targets. The use of mobile technologies will be on the rise for retailers, too. “In order to differentiate and be the winning choice to a customer, many retailers are trying to provide shoppers with a meaningful experience whether that be online, in-store or a combination of the two.”
Better Days Ahead 2018 for Canadian Retailers
Retail has seen better days for sure, we don’t have to belabor that. But there are signs things are looking up for 2018. In Canada, for example, grocery retailers have been adding delivery services following Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods. According to the Financial Post, many retail brands last year expanded and even opened in Canada for the first time – including Cheesecake Factory, Moose Knuckles, H&M, Uniqlo and more – and many expect that trend to continue in 2018. Retail vacancy rates are going down and there is a sense of optimism. “We are seeing a demographic move around the whole world of people moving into cities or closer to major cities. In those markets, the business is fine,” Edward Sonshine, chief executive of Canadian shopping center developer RioCan REIT. The traditional retail waters may muddy further when – and if – Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster’s prediction comes true: that Amazon will buy Target in 2018. We’ll see.
Your View: What Should We Watch for in 2018?
We hear from prognosticators and experts all the time about what they think will happen in the retail world and why it happened or why it didn’t. Now that we’ve turned the calendar to 2018, we’d like to hear from you. What are the big topics going to be in 2018? What does retail have to do to improve? What new technologies could help that haven’t been explored deeply enough yet? Let us know what you think! Tell us via Twitter or on our “Contact” page.