Five hot trends in the future of retail

The retail industry has seen more than its fair share of innovations and revolutions in recent years, with the internet, in particular, transforming much of the sector, and there are more big trends on the horizon.

Here are some of the things we can expect to shake up the retail industry in the coming months and years.

Expo stores

Expo stores are set to become far more mainstream than they are currently, and they’re likely to encroach into more and more areas of retail. Sleek, modern spaces displaying concepts, products and services will soon be on high streets all over the country.

Instant product customisation

There has already been a huge increase in mainstream retailers offering bespoke or customised products and this trend is set to grow dramatically. Before too long, you will be able to walk into a jewellery store and have designers create a piece of jewellery to your exact specifications or to have a made-to-measure wardrobe available to you within hours of stepping into a fashion outlet. Forbes explains that smart retailers are already jumping on the customisation bandwagon and are allowing customers to purchase products tailored to their specifications.

Out-of-hours retail

While 24-hour stores are nothing new, the retail sector is set to become even more accommodating of consumers’ demands. China has an unstaffed convenience store that is open constantly, and this concept is expected to become more popular.

Interactive stores

Like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory, Smith & Sinclair’s in London has walls that diffuse special scents and thermal reactive surfaces. These kinds of additions might seem like gimmicks, but stores are already realising that they need to offer something memorable and different in order to stand out from the crowd. Retailers might, for example, consider letting customers influence in-store music to fit their own preferences, by using in store music available from Moodmedia or other specialist companies.

Gateway hubs

The smartest brands will make their shops inspiring spaces that support their customers, and keep them engaged with the brand and its products. Makeup brands are already getting on board with this trend, by employing professional makeup artists to help customers create their own personal look. Tech stores have also been eager to embrace this trend, and often have experts on-hand to work with customers.

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