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10 Hot Retail Trends in 2020

SmarterCX Team
March 03, 2020

4 minute read

From brick-and-mortar making a comeback to more robot (and human) interaction, retail professionals at NRF 2020 shared their thoughts on 10 retail trends and technologies that are topping the charts this year.

See what they think will be hot in retail in 2020.

Trend #1: Brick and mortar

“The hot retail trend of 2020 is that brick and mortar still matters. The media talks about the brick-and-mortar apocalypse and all of these stores closing, and what they don’t mention are all those stores that are opening and how critical the interaction between brick-and-mortar locations and the web is for the customer experience.”

Greg Flinn, Solutions Manager, Oracle Retail

Trend #2: Mobility

“It’s all about mobility. That’s being able to serve the customer on a mobile device by delivering a great customer experience, because you can be out on the shop floor helping the customer, and it also frees up selling space in the store. So that’s a really hot one.”

Rachel Henwood, Sales Consulting Senior Director, Oracle Retail

Trend #3: In-store data

“I believe it’s really going to be data that’s gathered in the store that is going to help retailers optimize their store and shelf. At the end of the day for people like us shoppers, who shop the shelf, it is the best experience possible.”

Praveen Gopalakrishnan, Co-Founder and CEO, Snap2Insight

Trend #4: The marriage of first-party and third-party data

“Big data with your first-party data married with collective third-party data, bringing in third-party data into all the similar ways that analytics can be consumed. The opportunities are enormous.”

Mark Lawrence, Solutions Director, Analytics and Enterprise, Oracle Retail

Trend #5: RFID-enabled merchandise

“We’re starting to see much more deployment of RFID-enabled merchandise, which we’re combining with our mobile approach, so that we can use the mobile device to scan those codes and scan an entire fascia, rather than individual products, to make sure that we really do have that product that we’ve promised to a consumer.”

Antony Wildey, VP Global Omnichannel Sales Consulting, Oracle Retail

Trend #6: Robots in stores

“I think we’ll see more and more and more of these technologies, where you’ll see robots traversing these retail stores, capturing inventory, and also capturing user habits and tracking how users are spending their money.”

Sankalp Arora, Chief Robotics Engineer and Co-Founder, Gather AI

Trend #7: Employee experience

“We’re going to find retailers be more apt to engage their employees on a day-to-day basis to improve customer experience. I see retailers starting to turn their focus in-house, making sure their employees love work and are more engaged to be able to provide that customer experience. It all starts with the store associates.”

Alison Zook, Head of Customer Success, Arcade

Trend #8: Human interaction

“Now retailers are starting to understand just how valuable the store associate is. We can never underestimate the concept of the human interaction. Having great employees that work for you, that are store associates, can really drive loyalty. People like one-on-one relationships. And that’s how retailers can really capitalize on the fact that the pure plays can’t offer that.”

Christopher Sarne, Senior Director Product Management Strategy, Oracle Retail

Trend #9: Focus on the non-purchaser

“The hottest retail trend is not about ecommerce. 80% of visitors to a store do not complete a purchase. That is the biggest ignored opportunity by the entire industry – the non-purchaser. We can save 5% of the sales walking out of the store. That’s the biggest opportunity for retail today.”

Simon Foster, CEO and Founder, Chatter

Trend #10: Broad understanding of the consumer

“One of the big things that people are focused on is not just knowing your customer, but knowing the consumer. How do you convert that consumer to a customer and be able to have a broad understanding of not only who shops with you, but who doesn’t? How do we expand that view to a broader lens on consumer versus a known customer?”

Carla Anderson, Senior Director, Merchandising Strategy, Oracle Retail

Want to compare with last year’s retail trends? See 10 Hot Retail Trends in 2019.

Copyright © 2020 Oracle. All rights reserved.

This transcript may be edited for readability.

SmarterCX Team
The SmarterCX team is comprised of subject matter experts, writers, artists, designers, and CX professionals who are dedicated to building a smarter customer experience.
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