Retail trends 2019

Retail Trends 2019 and Beyond

***Managing Director of The Market Creative, Sue Benson delves into 2019 with retail trends to watch out for this year and beyond. ***

Advances in technology and shifting political, societal and cultural norms mean external forces beyond our control will forever shape the way we do business. Some will present fresh ways to create meaningful, commercial relationships, while others will disrupt and unsettle the paradigms on which these relationships were formerly based. Here are my three key shifts that will disrupt the way we buy and sell, in 2019 and beyond.

Gender Gender fluidity moved into mainstream consciousness in part due to a video by Australian model, DJ and recording artist Ruby Rose, which has been viewed over 45m times on YouTube. This glimpse into Rose’s interpretation of her identity highlights the understanding retailers need to have. Those of sharp and open mind will rethink the binary layout and navigation of stores and sites, re-appraise and re-draw pen-portraits and re-evaluate marketing and strategies that deliver content on a gender binary basis.

The challenging of masculine and feminine values will have even wider implications than gender fluidity. Brands are already being held to account for the (mis)portrayal of the modern man and women, and must re-consider what message this sends and the increasing disconnect it is having with people who question and experiment with these prescribed ideals.

Disconnection Technology and subsequently brands pervasion into our lives is reaching an unhappy peak for some, who are shunning connectivity via the act of unplugging.

Facilitators and facilities are popping up left, right and centre to enable the tech-fatigued to disconnect from devices and find quiet in their lives. Disconnection retreats and digital detoxes are the preferred means of switching off for those with the disposable income, but supplementing these premium offerings is a raft of ‘phone free’ cafes.

This shift presents an interesting challenge for retailers that expertly leverage this connectivity to communicate and engage their audience. Without it a line in is lost, and that is a devastating proposition for any marketing manager. Balance and embracement is the answer - respect the desire of your audience’s need to disengage, and look to create environments in which they can do this, both on and offline. You will find that when they do re-engage it will be with more focus and affinity towards your brand.

Expectations Before Uber, can you remember what it was like to book a taxi? It’s hard to remember how painful this experience was, and subsequently how wonderful Uber is. In fact, it’s raised our expectations so high that it continually has to keep up with them. Research has shown the longer the services have been available in a city, the higher our expectations are around short waiting times.

Disruptive upstarts don’t just impact sales and market share - they raise expectations to a whole new level. There are two key areas in retail that have seen the bar raised and many incumbents falling short: customer service and delivery.

You can read more on this topic by downloading the free report ‘Retail Trends 2019 and Beyond’ at

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