Top retail trends to watch in 2019

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New Delhi : Welcome 2019! Year 2018 has been a great year for all industries across the globe. The world’s largest athletic-gear makerNike went on a consolidation spree in India to curtail losses, renowned brands like Adidas and Reebok shifted towards athleisure upon gauging its potential in the Indian market. From major acquisitions such as that by Walmart of Flipkart, acquisition of Heritage Foods Pvt. Ltd., Lee Cooper and UK-based Laura Ashley by Future Retail to international furniture giant IKEA opening its first store in India at Hyderabad. Coming to 2019, here is what our analysts predicted for retail industry this year.

The Walmart-Flipkart deal stands as a major example, with leading international retail corporation Walmart venturing into the Indian market by acquiring77% stake in the country’s top e-commerce player Flipkart. According to the CII-BCG Report titled “Retail transformation: Changing your performance trajectory”, the Indian retail sector is projected to be worth USD 1100-1200 billion by 2020, with e-commerce accounting for a share of USD 45-50 billion, and potentially higher. Supplemented by a phenomenal rise in the ownership and acceptance of digital devices, favourable demographics and changing behavioural patterns among consumers, the opportunities for retailers are ever-growing.

According to a study by Marketing Insider Group, personally-relevant marketing content increased the purchase intent for 78% of the respondents, with 50% willing to even pay premium for a certain product or service that delivered such content. Therefore, every retailer will emphasize more on connecting with the end consumer through innovative personalized content in 2019.

Digital practices such as augmented reality and social shopping are further facilitating the building of customer trust. Several mature businesses and start-ups have already introduced the digital approach to connecting with consumers, right from the awareness stage up-till the stage of making the purchase-decision. Taking into consideration the robustly growing acceptance of digital disruptions in the country, this approach will increasingly become a vital practice for the retail industry players in 2019.

According to industry reports by Deloitte analysts, 71% of shoppers in India make use of digital modes before their purchase journey. Furthermore, around 70% of these shoppers prefer using digital devices over taking help from in-store sales associates for product information, pricing comparison, checking availability, and other such activities. Keeping this in mind, retailers in 2019 will focus on incorporating digital interventions to provide a seamless and customised buying experience for every customer.