An Effective Retailer’s Guide to Survive Changing Trends in the Market

Despite what most retailers and marketers would like, the future of retail is as cloudy as a rainy Autumn day in London. Plan and plan all they want, even the best strategies that seem foolproof one day are subjected to changing consumer demands that make them obsolete the next.

This is what made up most of the retail industry challenges that 2018 strategies faced, and will continue to face as we move toward 2019.

The thing is, many don’t understand that this is because most of the evolving retail trends in 2018 UK, which are to blame for the disruption, were themselves dictated by emerging technologies that entered the market.

If they were to keep an eye out for these technologies and how they can affect existing trends and create new ones, they would be able to better adapt to our volatile retail landscape and prepare for any sudden changes.

Why It’s Important to Follow Retail Consumer Trends

To understand why it’s important to follow retail consumer trends, let’s consider a standard technology of today that was, at one point, brand new: the internet.

When the internet first emerged, everything changed as we gained the ability to connect with an audience that wasn’t subject to geographical borders.

From owning brick and mortar shops, retailers were able to venture into the online world and take up virtual real estate, essentially allowing them to conduct business with those who would otherwise be considered an inaccessible audience.

In action, those who did were rewarded by an expanded audience and more (online) store visits, leading to more sales; those who didn’t, on the other hand, saw declining foot traffic as consumers opted for online purchases over their physical counterparts.

Retail Technology Trends 2018

That was then. Today, we live in an age of unprecedented change derived from rapid technological advancements that are impacting everything they touch.

For example, think of the smartphone and how things have changed since it first entered the market.

Because we’re more likely to pick up a phone to browse the internet than use a desktop—leading to a rise in mobile shopping—we’ve seen a rise in techniques like mobile optimisation and mobile SEO, which are helping marketers and retailers adapt to these changing times.

Similarly, with voice assistants like Siri on our phones, we’re also searching with our voices instead of keyboards more so than ever before, leading brands to employ voice search optimisation in an effort to capture voice queries.

All of this is to say that retailers need to be able to see what’s coming ahead of time so they can adequately prepare for it and not only survive, but also make the most of it and come out on top.

With that in mind, let’s begin with an effective retailer’s guide to survive changing trends in the market.

Keep Track of Any and All New Technologies

As we just covered, most changing trends in the retail market are due to changes in technology that then change consumer behaviour (e.g. the internet gave rise to online shopping, and the smartphone to mobile shopping).

If you want to get to the bottom of surviving trends, you’ll have to be able to anticipate incoming technologies and, when they arrive, use them to your advantage. After all, if you know they’re coming, you can prepare and make the most of them.

To anticipate these technological trends, you’ll have to keep track of any and all developments both within and without your industry.

For example, to get a good idea of what’s happening in your industry, you can subscribe to and read the many research and industry reports available to you, which usually contain predictions and expectations about what’s to come from the data and reliable sources.

Follow Influencers in Your Industry

Influencers in your industry are those people who, more often than not, are “in the know” of what’s what and what’s to come.

As such, you’ll do well to follow them and pay close attention to any predictions they make about any new technologies or changing trends coming your way.

The best part is that, thanks to social media and the ability to follow people and subscribe to specific publications, which contain a lot of industry news and predictions, you’ll be able to do just that at the click of a button.

You’ll always know what’s happening as it happens, as opposed to waiting until it’s too late to do something about it.

Observe Your Competition and Listen to Your Customers

Finally, something else you can do to gain insights into what’s happening in your industry is twofold: keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing, and keep an ear to the ground of what you customers are saying.

For the first, even if you’re not trying to catch wind of any incoming trends, you should always know what your competition is up to. That being said, if there is a new trend, you’ll get a head’s up shortly after your competition because you were already paying attention to what they were doing.

For the second, the very point of wanting to survive changing trends in the market is so you can know what your customers want, meaning you’ll definitely want to be in the know as to what that is.

Although the best way to do this is to speak directly to them, whether through surveys or social media interactions that can range from back-and-forth interactions to setting up polls on platforms like Instagram, you can also do it indirectly with online tools like Answer the Public that show you autosuggest results provided from Google and Bing of what your audience is searching for.

Final Thoughts

Changing trends in the market are interesting when you consider both “winners” and “losers.”

That is to say, instead of everyone losing when a new trend comes, some will inevitably come out on top because they’re able to rise above and make the most of it while others flounder and fall behind.

Sabrina Sedicot

Sabrina Sedicot is a content writer for Appnova, a Creative web design agency based in London that specialises in fashion eCommerce.

She writes on a variety of subjects that range from emerging trends to SEO and PPC.