5. Social and mobile commerce are two of the biggest digital trends in the retail industry — and they’re booming.
From selling on Instagram to launching an online store, retailers are experimenting with multiple ways of meeting the evolving needs of customers. This new omnichannel landscape is thrilling, with 91% of retailers surveyed now selling on social media.
Whether it’s through a fully shoppable store or flash sales, social and mobile selling are made possible by eCommerce tools, helping retailers reach more customers at a time when people may be even more glued to their devices. And it’s working, with 79% of consumers making purchases directly from their mobile devices.
Mobile payments are up 117% this year, driven in part by growth in online and social media channels. As customers continue to expect their favorite businesses to show up on social media, it’s on those businesses to meet them where they are.
#6. Experiential retail experiences are rapidly evolving.
2023 is shaping up to see the return of the experience. After two years of varying restrictions due to COVID-19, consumers are eager to enjoy the brands they love again — in a new, tangible way. While virtual and digital experiences still matter, the in-store experience is returning to prominence and 94% of retailers are focused on enhancing it for their business overall.
Prioritizing modern ways of shopping, like mobile checkout, VR/AR, or QR codes, are a top focus, with 70% of retailers reporting it as their goal. Mobile checkout options and QR codes, for instance, can often create a seamless experience for customers that helps increase engagement and overall satisfaction.
“Businesses that offer quick checkout methods see more sales, more repeat buyers, and lower abandoned cart rates,” says Kharazian. Quick mobile checkout methods that incorporate options such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) can also make all the difference for customers by giving them the flexibility they need.
#7. The borders between retail and other industries continue to blur.
Businesses are continuing to look for new ways to reach customers and stand out against the competition, and there’s one method that’s just not going away: multi-hyphenate stores. These mixed-use concepts often involve restaurants selling branded merchandise and retailers offering digital services like subscriptions, and they’re becoming increasingly normal.
Nearly three in five consumers have purchased retail items at a local restaurant in the past year, and, on average, 21% of restaurants’ revenue is currently coming from products and services outside of their core restaurant offerings.
For today’s businesses, diversifying their offerings is a key way of driving revenue and growing their brand. In an uncertain economy and an increasingly competitive business environment, businesses are realizing the importance of multiple revenue streams and need easy-to-use tools to help manage their growing offerings.
#8. Flexible payment options are becoming increasingly important to younger consumers — especially Gen Z.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) options are improving the shopping experience, and customers — especially younger customers — are looking for them.
While 33% of retailers are currently offering BNPL options, according to our 2023 Future of Retail report, 41% of Gen Z retailers plan to add BNPL to their payment options to enhance their in-store experience. The data noticeably drops off for other generations, but for stores that are searching for ways to bring in a new generation of customers, BNPL options may be worth it.
Gen Zs and Millennials have experienced multiple recessions, which have changed the way they navigate the world when it comes to saving and spending. Due to these macroeconomic impacts, younger generations are increasingly credit averse, preferring to pay over time with BNPL. As BNPL adoption goes mainstream, retailers will need to meet this Gen Z and Millennial demand for payment optionality — enabling them to truly shop omnichannel.
Retailers are tapping into the qualities that make them unique, reworking them, and using them to their advantage as consumer needs evolve. The future of retail in 2023 lies in the overall experience.
To incorporate these retail industry trends into your business, consider digitizing your operations and then trying out new ways of selling. When you find what fits, you can give customers exactly what they need while giving them the room to try new things. And when you get to that space where you can pull the levers that work for your store, your future is wide open.
FAQs on the top retail trends
What are the biggest challenges facing retailers in 2023?
According to our 2023 Future of Retail data, the higher cost of goods due to inflation is the biggest challenge for retailers, with 47% expecting it to be their main issue over the next 12 months. In terms of other retail challenges, 36% of retailers are concerned about the economic recession and 35% are concerned about continued supply chain delays.
What are the latest trends in retail marketing?
When it comes to retail marketing, retailers are searching for new ways to improve, especially as it relates to reaching Gen Z with their marketing efforts. In fact, 43% are planning to use a different approach to reach this generation entirely.
When asked what improvements were needed to compete in today’s retail marketplace, reaching and engaging customers through a marketing program ranked in the top three responses, with 37% saying it’s needed.