With just a month left into the new decade, experts will bid farewell to the record-breaking 2019 in terms of retail and e-commerce purchasing. The global market, including the USA, Europe, China and Hong Kong B2B Marketplaces have been significant contributors and buying hubs to B2B businesses and B2C consumers. According to a report, the e-commerce excluding physical stores is expected to have sold 3.45 trillion US$ in 2019.
For retailers, one of the most significant changes they witnessed was the stability in store closures, which were at peak between 2017-2018. In addition, sales through offline shopping also improved despite the shifts in consumer behavior, technology intervention and increase in private labels.
Let’s look at some of the top retail trends that can we expect in the coming year:
1. Online Shopping will go Offline
Having been at its peak, online shopping in 2020 will look to expand to physical stores in the coming future. Experts believe that the retail industry, to meet their consumer demands will have a strong presence both online and offline. Even the platforms that started as online ventures will look to open their physical stores to give customers a live product experience and the privilege to feel the products before ordering/purchasing.
2. Private Labels will be on the Rise
In the coming year, we will see several private labels giving a fierce competition to branded products. One of the primary reasons why online retailers are going offline because that gives them more of a chance to establish their private label and become more mainstream. Around 40% of grocery goods in Europe right now are sold under private labels since consumers trust their value for money more than of brands. Furthermore, the market is expected to rise by 25 per cent in the next ten years.
3. Artificial Intelligence will take over Retail Systems
As we go into the third decade of the millennium, technology will only get better and more efficient. Courtesy to Artificial Intelligence, marketers and retailers will be able to use data from their consumer’s smartphones and browser searches to determine their preferences. Similar to most Hong Kong B2B platforms, each businesses’ data and search patterns are tracked and use for future analysis.
There will be more use of IoT’s and recommendation systems so marketers can target their consumers easily. Moreover, the retail industry will profit up to US$36 billion from incorporating AI by the end of 2025.
4. Shopping and Instagram
With social media users getting more frequent, retailers will test such platforms for retailing and setting up shops. Many brands are now testing new ways to sell through Instagram with the platform’s new payment loading strategy. In future, social networks will be more useful for not just socializing but also marketing and purchasing products. Facebook, on the other hand, will also be adding a payment system to its platform to expedite the retailing process. For now, Instagram has been the first company to experiment with this system and has already gathered 60% of its users to use the platform for buying and selling.
5. Multiple Channels will Surface
Also called as Omnichannel, this term will surface more in the retail industry in 2020. This means consumers and B2B businesses will no longer differentiate between online, and offline shopping. They may begin shopping online and checkout offline. In the coming years, brands and retail companies will emphasize more on bringing convenience to their customers to give them a better shopping experience. According to a business report, more than 70% of shoppers use multiple channels to make their purchases.
The traditional retail Industry is coming back despite the widespread digitization and technology use. As the market evolves further, it is up to retail businesses to adapt to changes in technology, consumer behavior and fluctuation market trends.
The massive line between digital retail and physical stores is now slowly blurring into the air. This is why you need to stay updated with the latest trends and keep the leg up on the competition games. Markets in China, India, Europe, USA and the Hong Kong B2B trade sites are using business intelligence tools to know where the market is heading.