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8 Biggest Retail Trends in 2023

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We are halfway through 2023, and numerous technological changes have positively impacted retail. What was popular last year may be out of style this year, and what is popular now may be passé in a few years.

However, one thing that is certain is that the retail sector is constantly evolving and it has become essential for retailers to keep up with the trends and stay ahead of the curve.

Embracing these latest trends will help retailers to stay ahead of the competition, better understand the customers and make more informed business decisions. Let us take a detailed look at the 8 biggest trends for the retail industry in 2023.

1. Metaverse

The Metaverse has become the newest macro-goal for many of the world's tech giants.

  • Matthew Ball. EpyllionCo

Metaverse is a digital space represented by people, places, and things and has a predicted market size of $800 billion by 2024 that is slated to become the next new thing in technology. 

Many retail companies have started their foray into the Metaverse, like NIKE selling branded NFTs or Forever21 opening a virtual storefront in the Metaverse. It is also establishing a Metaverse Studio, launching Nikeland on Roblox, and acquiring the virtual fashion startup RTFKT.

Nikeland

Another example Gucci Town marks Gucci's official entry into the virtual world, and it is sure to be a hit with fans of the luxury brand. It is a permanent space hosted on the online gaming platform Roblox.

Gucci Town is a "dynamic destination" that allows users to explore the vision of creative director Alessandro Michele, express their individuality through virtual clothing, and connect with like-minded individuals in the town community.

Welcome to Gucci Town, the House’s newest digital gathering place on Roblox.Welcome to Gucci Town

2. Social Selling

As social media reach increases, consumers turn to it for product inspiration. That drives brands to switch up their strategies if they want to stay competitive and get a bigger slice of the sales. However, this also presents an opportunity for brands to engage with consumers and create a more personal relationship with millions of active social media customers.

Are you aware that more than 50% of revenue across 14 major industries is generated by social sales? A great example is Burberry, a pioneer luxury brand in social media selling. It is renowned for its history of designing successful social media campaigns, so it is no surprise that they adopted the social selling bandwagon quite early in its retail journey. 

The designer fashion label has created short, engaging videos that bring their products to life. They provide a 360-degree view of the product, which is extremely important in today's market, where online purchases are favored over in-store purchases. Here is an example of Burberry social selling on Facebook for DK 88 Burberry bags.

Burberry DK88 bag social selling on Facebook

Many brands can be seen resorting to selling on Tik Tok Style video in Trello. Thanks to omnichannel SaaS platforms like Fynd that have been helping brands to sell on social media like Trello and go omnichannel. Fynd Platfrom also assists its brands to have their social media presence and drive more sales with the help of performance marketing. 

3. Use of automation

Using automation technologies in retail is like setting retail tasks on autopilot and streamlining manual, repetitive processes that take too much time to complete. Nearly 1 in 3 retailers are worried about being able to attract and retain staff.

To help pick up the slack, 72% of business owners use (or plan to use) automation to decrease their team's time spent doing hands-on work. Retailers say that automating technology will help fill staffing gaps in the top three areas of order tracking, customer loyalty programs, and communication with customers.

Streamlining order tracking: Many of the top retail brands like Red Chief, Superdry, Steve Madden, Celio, Spykar, AND have successfully grown their retail storebusiness using automated order management and streamlined order tracking for greater customer convenience.

They have effectively leveraged the Order Management System (OMS) powered by Fynd to view, manage, and fulfill orders from multiple sales channels and marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and more in a single panel view. 

On the other hand, the OMS helps communicate with the customers to easily see where their order is and when it will arrive at their home location.

Fynd order management system

Managing customer loyalty programs: Loyalty programs and marketing automation can mutually boost each other. 

The Sephora Beauty Insider Loyalty Program is an excellent example of how automated reward programs incentivize customers to spend more and get birthday gift discounts and free samples.

By collecting points and redeeming them for rewards, customers can move through different tiers, each with attractive perks like free shipping or early access to sales.

As you can see in the below image, each loyalty program has exclusive access to events that automatically multiply the loyalty points, plus discounts on seasonal savings and end-of-year discounts. 

Sephora beauty Insider program

Automation in inventory management: A global research firm states that automation will continue to have a significant impact on inventory management. Automated inventory management tools keep track of the inventory, monitor stock levels and make critical business decisions in a timely manner.

Impact of automation on different elements of retailer’s role

4. Advanced payment systems

As the retail industry evolves, so do retailers' payment systems. In the past, retail was simple: cash or cheque, and maybe credit if you were lucky. But today, there are a variety of advanced payment systems that retailers can use to streamline the payment process and make it more convenient for customers.

Cashierless shopping

Are you aware that long queues are one of the most common reasons for shopping trip abandonment? A long and uncomfortable wait can affect a customer’s view of a retail brand, leading people to leave a queue or even avoid the retail store altogether based on current experience.

According to a research :

  • 74% of respondents say technology will make shopping easier. 
  • 86% want to use scan and checkout apps from cell phones or tablets to skip lines and save time, while 82% want to use kiosks to make in-store payments faster and easier. 
  • More than half (52%) think enabling payments at kiosks will improve their experience and efficiency. 

‘Tapping’ onto this evolving payment trend, retail stores with cashierless shopping have become a disruptive new normal in retail and are gradually establishing themselves in the market. A famous example of the emerging cashierless store trend is Amazon Go.

In this supermarket, customers' phones wirelessly connect with turnstiles, inventory, and baskets to log which items should be deducted from users' associated payment methods in the Amazon app. Shoppers can enter the Amazon store by scanning the app and exit without standing in line.

Shopper using his smartphone to enter the Amazon Go store

Contactless payment: Also known as tap and go, tap-to-pay, contactless payment requires the user to tap their payment card or devices, such as a smartwatch or smartphone, onto a reader equipped with the right contactless payment technology. This makes paying for things quick and easy without needing cash or cards.

Trends that prove the future of retail is contactless payments:

Contactless cards move to the top of the wallet: A Mastercard survey says 46% of respondents have swapped their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless. In Asia Pacific, 51% of people have made the swap.

Contactless is here to stay: 74% of people globally and 75% in the Asia-Pacific will continue to use contactless payment methods even after the coronavirus pandemic is over, reinforcing the trend in more mature markets and stimulating its use in newer markets. This suggests that the contactless trend is here to stay.

Popular contactless payment technology: 

Smart speaker payments: 28% of users worldwide use smart speakers for making payments.

Role of smart speakers in payments

PIN Technology: Many companies like Samsung, Apple, and Google already have contactless payment systems like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, respectively. Every retail store has available payment technology to accept payments from these payment platforms. 

To make payments, customers must download these apps, add a credit/debit card by entering card details, and then wave their phone across any reader to enter the pin and make payment for purchase.

Self-checkout: Fynd-powered retail stores let customers browse the products from the online catalog and book their orders using a link or QR code shared by the retail store. The customer has to click on the shared link or scan the QR code and checkout contact-free using flexible payment modes. 

Premium brands onboarded by Fynd like Michael Kors, Diesel, Paul Smith, Superdry, Celio, Hamleys, AND, and Steve Madden have been actively utilizing Fynd self-checkout technology to provide customers with a safe, convenient & premium shopping experience.

5. Active use of robotics in retail

Robots are increasingly becoming a staple in the retail industry as companies seek to automate tasks and improve efficiency. Check out some of these important applications of robotics in the retail industry.

Autonomous delivery robots

The global autonomous last-mile delivery market is expected to be valued at $12.88 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $90.21 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 24.1% from 2021 to 2030.

Further, McKinsey says autonomous vehicles will perform 85% of deliveries by 2025. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the use and demand of autonomous delivery robots in the retail industry. 

Here is an excellent example: 

Amazon is at the forefront of the autonomous delivery revolution. Amazon has developed an autonomous robot called "Amazon Scout" to efficiently and quickly deliver orders from its warehouses to customers' homes.

This electric robot is of the size of a cooler and is equipped with 3D software to navigate around obstacles safely. Amazon also uses simulations to accelerate these devices' learning and development of autonomy.

Amazon Scout delivering orders‍

Customer servicing robots

Lowe, an American retail company, specializing in home improvement projects, has been actively deploying Lowebot to assist customers in their shopping journey.

Applications of Lowebot:

Find products: Customers can ask LoweBot by speaking or using a touch screen to find items they need inside the store.

Ask service-related questions: Shoppers can also ask the robot some basic customer service questions that would otherwise need to be addressed to a human worker.

Lowebot assisting customers in Lowe's retail store.

6. Live stream commerce

Live stream commerce allows retailers to digitally broadcast their products via video and connect directly with online shoppers. Consumers spent hours watching celebrities and influencers hosting entertaining shows on various topics designed to sell.

The Livestream shopping market is expected to reach $35 billion by 2024. 

Factors driving live stream commerce:

Better engagement: Video content is highly engaging than other types of content. People are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content. Moreover, live shopping lets your viewers chat with you in real-time, leading to higher engagement rates and more sales. 

Generate massive sales: You can expose your products to hundreds and thousands of people in just a few minutes. NTWRK, a mobile app uses live shows to sell collectibles, like limited-edition sneakers. Overall sales have surged 400%. Earlier this year, it sold $120,00 worth of gold-colored vacuum sealers from a celebrity jeweler in five seconds, and some shows have topped $1 million in sales in less than 10 minutes.

Encourage impulse buying: Customers start impulse buying when they experience the fear of missing out (FOMO). Here are some reasons by which live stream shopping activates FOMO in viewers:

  • Seeing other customers on the live broadcast buying a product.
  • Short-lived discounts; product may only be discounted until the live event lasts.

7. Same-day delivery

As customers' expectations rise for faster shipping, companies have to find ways to keep up. From next-day delivery to same-day delivery and now customers expect delivery within a few hours in many cases.

Critical research that shows  tremendous popularity of same-day delivery in the retail industry. 

  • 49% of shoppers say that same-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online.
  • More than 25% of shoppers would abandon a cart online if same-day shipping were unavailable.
  • More than 51% of retailers offer same-day delivery, and 65% plan to adopt same-day delivery within the next two years. 49% of shoppers say that same-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online.

Some prominent retail brands that offer same-day delivery to their customers:

Target: Target has partnered with Shipt to offer same-day delivery on groceries, gifts, decor, clothing, and more. With a membership, customers can get free same-day deliveries on orders over $35. Once you sign up for a Shipt account, delivering your Target groceries couldn't be easier. To use the service, the customer has to visit Target's Same-Day Delivery page or the Target app or place a Target order through Shipt.com.

Magicpin: Magicpin is one such platform that aims to make hyperlocal magical. Leader in its segment in the Indian market, Magicpin joined hands with India’s largest omnichannel platform, Fynd in March 2022.

Earlier confined to restaurants, grocery, spa, gyms, & pharma, Magicpin forayed into the hyperlocal deliveries in the fashion segment with Fynd. Fynd’s Magicpin extension enables fashion brands to collaborate and sell on magicpin and delight their customers with same-day deliveries. Magicpin has been credited to drive $1B+ of annual business to retailers across the country. 

8. Increasing adoption of omnichannel retail

Important findings of a leading research firm says, 60%-70% of customers are shopping in an omnichannel way. They are increasingly adopting offline and online channels for a seamless shopping experience. 

These are some famous examples of retail brands actively deploying omnichannel retailing strategies and empowering customers to enjoy the best shopping experience involving the physical and digital worlds.

There is an endless list of retail brands opting for the omnichannel way to do business like Superdry, Ruosh, Spykar, Hamleys, Charles & Keith, Tiffany & Co, Rosso Brunello, Diesel, Aldo, Colorplus, Park Avenue & more.

These popular brands have broken the barriers of expanding their visibility across traditional channels and are observing all round growth. Check out the SaaS platform behind their omnichannel transformation here.

Signing Off

As the retail industry evolves, it's essential to stay up-to-date on the latest retail trends in 2023. One way to do this is by digitizing your operations, which will help you keep up with the competition and give you a chance to try new ways of selling.

Keep up with these trends and rapidly transform your retail brand into an omnichannel brand with Fynd. Our premium clientele list includes leading retail brands like Nike, Celio, Steve Madden, Sports Station, Michael Kors, Clarks & Globus. Book a demo with one of our retail experts to learn more about it and transform your retail business.

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8 Biggest Retail Trends in 2023
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