The top five trends expected to shape the global retail market over the next year have been identified by The Institute of Grocery Distribution.
- ‘Premiumisation’ of private label
According to the IGD, retailers are increasingly using private label to appeal to a wide range of life stages as well as a change in shopping habits. According to them 75 per cent of UK shoppers now believe the quality of private label products has improved over the last couple of years, and many retailers are putting more emphasis on affordable premium private label ranges, which we expect to continue.
“Private label ranges are a key area in which retailers can differentiate themselves and stand out in an increasingly complex and competitive retail market,” said Toby Pickard, IGD’s innovations and trends analyst. “For own label manufacturers this could provide additional volume but more pressure on costs. For brands, they will have to ensure their products are superior to justify the price. They are likely to achieve this through showcasing heritage and new products.”
- Becoming ‘hyperlocal’
The Institute found that despite shoppers being globally minded, the desire to have links to local regions and buy local products will increase over the next year. It said that “this approach will result in retailers selling produce that will only be available for a short period of time, due to seasonality and availability, creating uniqueness and increased shopper desire to get these products when available.”
- Delivering the goods
Shopper expectations are growing when it comes to “getting the goods they want in a quick and easy way, with retailers so far meeting and even exceeding the demand with innovative delivery solutions.” The Institute said that increased competition among retailers to deliver to shoppers in more innovative and creative ways is therefore expected.
“If shoppers continue to value innovations that offer convenience and time-saving solutions they will have less and less direct interaction with retailers and brands,” said Pickard. “To ensure they don’t get forgotten about in the mix of these developments, there will be a growing need for retailers and brands to stand out to shoppers.
“Gathering more customer data and using it to achieve long-term shopper loyalty will be critical for retailers and brands going forward. This will likely take the form of artificial intelligence use customer information to predict and fulfil shopper demand using automated delivery.”
- Leading in lifestyle
Health and wellness were identified as key focuses for next year. This means that retailers are “expected to expand designated zones in-store and develop lifestyle-focused formats.” Next year it is predicted that retailers will offer more tailored, value-added lifestyle choices through the online channel, they can help shoppers quickly and easily find products that help them lead healthier lives.
“Retailers and brands will need to stay very close to evolving food trends to ensure they are meeting the needs of increasingly diverse and demanding shoppers,” added Pickard. “The winners in this area will be those that are able to predict, create or respond very quickly to the next food lifestyle trend.”
- Fulfilling stores
Nowadays, physical stores are now having to work harder than before to bring shoppers through the front door.
IGD predicts that as ecommerce transforms the grocery shopping experience there will be “an increasing number of innovations that will showcase exciting produce, fulfil online orders in less time and offer more in-store shopper engagement.”
“Retailers will be looking to enhance the physical store through showcasing exciting produce, while also offering practical solutions to meet the needs of shoppers who want to use a number of different channels,” said Pickard. “Brands should look to help retailers enhance the store experience for shoppers, while also being able to meet online fulfilment requirements.”