Surprising Strategic Alliances, Predictive Analytics and Insights, and Intensely Immersive Experiences are Some of the Trends on Tap for 2018 and Beyond
The speed of technology, combined with rapidly changing customer expectations, make it challenging for brands to know what strategies and innovations are worth their time, attention and resources. Alliance Data’s card services business, a leading provider of tailored marketing and loyalty solutions, delivered through branded credit programs, guides retailers with its third annual “Now, New, Next” report, a forecast of the top 10 trends expected to have the greatest impact on the retail industry in 2018, was released.
“Retailers already know the customer is in control. Expectations have never been higher—and customers have never been more connected. Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and that means customers have unlimited options for where—and how—they shop, right at their fingertips,” said Shannon Andrick, vice president of marketing advancement for Alliance Data’s card services business. “So, what can brands do to stand out? Our trend report gets to the core of what factors will shape retail the most in 2018. We explore these trends and provide real, actionable steps brands can take to build customer loyalty that lasts.”
The “Now, New, Next” report takes a comprehensive look at how brands are navigating shifts in customer behavior and countering increased expectations through elevated service offerings, deeper engagement opportunities, and innovative connectivity. More importantly, it provides expertise on how to focus resources to adapt to evolving customer expectations.
The following trends are a sampling of the 10 included in the 2018 report:
- NOW: Purpose-Driven Partnerships. Brands have been using collaborations to adapt in an ever-shifting retail landscape. Now, they’re forming sometimes surprising alliances, with the goal of creating exclusive benefits and long-term value for demanding consumers.
- NEW: Predictive Everything. To deliver deeply personalized messaging, offers and experiences, brands are enhancing the way they collect and use data, analytics, and insights by leveraging predictive modeling, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
- NEXT: Connected Environments. The physical and digital worlds are becoming more integrated, bringing the future of retail to the present. It’s all about seamlessly connecting multiple devices, environments, and technologies to what’s happening “in real life” to create an intensely immersive brand experience.
“Retail continues to discover exciting new opportunities, thanks to advances in technologies,” added Andrick. “The future of shopping is promising for retailers who focus on the customer by harnessing both data-driven insights and the latest innovations that customers will value and engage with the most.”