Three Retail Trends for 2018: Experience, Exclusivity, Extension

With the approach of the end of the year, my feed is always packed with two main themes: losing weight or a new fitness program to join, and advertising/branding agency “Top trends for 2018.”  A few weeks into the year, we’ve mostly all abandoned those lofty weight loss resolution, but one thing that continues to impact our daily life are trends that are happening in the retail marketplace.


Here I’ve curated, analyzed and applied those key trends for 2018.
Experience: It’s not just enough for your retail space to sell products and services anymore. We are accelerating into an experience economy: travel, factory-tours, events, class-based purchases, and the like continue to increase in the number of average spend per household. Retailers that understand creating an environment and an experience behind their product, as well as the experience that product is involved with or delivers, will stand out.


Examples: Home Depot classes on tiling, brewery tours, flower arranging workshops.
Resolution: Find what is the larger experience your product is involved in and offer part of that experience in your store (i.e. tent assembly class/happy-hour for outdoor retail).


Extension: What do I mean by extension? It is the Amazon’ing of everything. Through apps and digital connection, the consumer is being conditioned for their grocery list, to-do list, and any other list to be just a click away from their home. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution of course, depending on the category of retail that you are in, but there are steps that your store can take to create ease-of-purchase and offer services or other product evaluations outside of the store, closer to the consumer’s turf. The real benefit any store or brand extensions can do is being accessible and close to the consumer.
Examples:  Chick Fil A One app which includes at-car delivery (Starbucks does this as well).
Resolution: Find 1-2 services or other experiences that your store can offer closer to the consumers home (i.e. at-home fitting, etc.)


Exclusivity: There is the classic Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of the results come from the most important 20% of the effort. The same concept applies to retail in terms of finding and treating the top 20% of your customer base as an uber-exclusive group. Sitting on an 8 year bull market, the uber-exclusive segment exists and is strong in almost every category. Offering exclusive product, experiences, news and knowledge to your top 20% creates more than satisfied customers, it creates advocates. Advocates share on social media, creating valuable, digital word-of-mouth for your store.
Example: Nike just launched their NikePlus membership with exclusive product unlock features.
Resolution: Find your 20% and treat them like royalty: offer specialized or advanced product class, free product-for-posting deal, etc.


Now, none of these are uniform—they will be different for your store(s) and customer base. If you are interested in hearing from The Mann Group in how to innovate retail with these pending trends, reach out to us!


Be Netflix, not Blockbuster—don’t ignore these trends!


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