After the retail rollercoaster that was 2016, retailers are forging ahead with their plans for 2017. Retail experts are busy discussing the retail trends for 2017. The predictions vary from in-store technological advancements to the latest styles of mannequins and shop fittings.
The practical retailer in 2017 is looking for high quality shop displays that are long lasting. Fashion leviathans, River Island, have been using a similar principle in 2016. RI have been using mannequins in combination with wigs. The high-fashion wigs that their mannequins wear can be changed week to week; giving their window displays a fresh look. In 2017 this is going to be taken a step further, with savvy retailers looking for mannequins with changeable heads and articulated limbs.
One such example is an articulated mannequin that comes with both a head and a classic thistle top. The thistle top is a throw back to the style of neck cap that is used on a retro tailor’s dummy. By purchasing mannequins that have more than one look, a retailer gains display tools with extra versatility.
Amazon’s physical shop in Seattle went checkout-less in 2016. New tech has allowed Amazon to provide a super simple shopping experience to its customers. Forget queues, now customers can simply come in, pick up the goods they want and leave. Sensors around the shop record the items that customers pick up and take the money from their accounts when they leave.
In 2016 several retailers were hauled into the spotlight for investigations into unfair pay and working practices. As the ‘gig economy’ is called into question, the living wage is further increased and government plans are set to force pay ratios to be published; 2017 could see big changes in the retail industry and its approach to staff.
Peg letter boards are set to be one of the big retail trends of 2017. They’re not just being used for the classic menu displays in cool coffee shops, they’re being used on counters for promotions and in window displays. Much like the resurgence of vinyl, these retro-cool pegged beauties are set to be another past trend that are back again for 2017.
In 2016 it was recorded that for the first time ever, men spent more than women on clothing. Male shoppers spent 13% more on clothes than women did and it has been predicted that in 2017 the market for menswear will increase even further. It is thought that it will increase by a further 8.3% in 2017. Often menswear is placed upstairs, but in 2017 this may be one of the major retail trends that changes. With an increase in menswear spend, it is likely that retailers will change their shop displays to reflect this.
Some retailers have already adopted smart shelves in a big way, but they are yet to filter through to the rest of the market. Smart shelves are already being used by Mondelez to track inventory in real time. The shelf labeling systems are wireless and display prices based on the quantity of product left and when the products expire. They allow retailers to monitor their stock and also reduce the time spent pricing clearance items. It is expected that more large retail chains will begin to use this technology in 2017.
In 2016 we wrote a lot about experiential marketing and how experiential retail is becoming popular with both ‘big box’ brands and pop up shops a-like. Brands that are already trying to make their shops more immersive are adding services like personalisation booths and make-up counters. If you’re not sure what we mean by experiential marketing, check out our blog on Experiential Marketing Tips for Retail.
2016 has seen an increase in popularity of independent shops. Indies excite customers because they are different. Their merchandise and style is hard to find elsewhere and, much like going to the local pub, it’s great to go somewhere where they know your name and the types of things you’re going to like. In addition, many big brands are trying to support independents. For example, 2016 saw a big Shop Small campaign from American Express. In addition, the tags #ShopLocal and Theo Paphitis’ #SBS have helped to boost the popularity of smaller retailers.
Companies like Superdry are adopting Smart Mirrors. These mirrors are a new technology that allows customers to try on clothing virtually. The mirrors were launched in Superdry’s Berlin flagship store late in 2016. Innovative tech that makes customers’ lives easier is set to punctuate 2017.
Branded light boxes have long been popular with retailers. But as they become slimmer and more cost effective to run, they are re-entering window displays and till areas. Advanced dye sublimation printing is improving the quality of the images on the fabric. Brands like H&M are using light boxes to provide large, attractive, inspirational images. In addition, they brighten up dark areas of a shop. As a result of all of these things, light boxes are set to be one of the big retail trends in 2017.