Megatrends Shaping the Retail Landscape

The global retail landscape is undergoing a transformation as internet retailing continues to grow, both as a channel and a means of interacting with shoppers. Shopping reinvented and connected consumers are two megatrends driving this “high-velocity retail” environment, which is this year’s theme at World Retail Congress on 14-16 May in Amsterdam.

Shopping reinvented

Thanks to technology, shoppers are reinventing the way they shop. They expect to seamlessly switch from mobile to in-store to computer to mobile devices as they move through the purchasing process. From the shopper’s perspective, their expectation is to have the same shopping experience no matter how they choose to purchase, with the same level of ease, access to inventory and service across all channels. Consumer behaviours and technology will continue to evolve, and retailers must meet their changing expectations when it comes to a seamless shopping experience.

At World Retail Congress, the “Next-gen tech = next gen strategy: What success looks like in today’s retail world” session will discuss these new consumer expectations that have resulted from technological advancements, which are transforming the way retailers connect with their customers. Euromonitor will interview Fernando Madeira, president of ipsy, on best practices for how retailers can leverage these new technologies.

Connected consumers

Global internet penetration will be 51% in 2019—the first time in history that the majority of the world will have internet access. This digital connectivity, which underpins the very existence of connected consumers, has altered all aspects of life. Consumers leverage this connectivity for purposes such as entertainment, education, knowledge, social sharing and shopping. As a result, internet retailing will be the fastest growing channel in the next five years.

Connected consumers use a variety of devices and interfaces to connect to the internet, in order to interact with digital content, services and experiences. Most households will access the internet for the first time through a smartphone.

As access to the mobile internet grows, especially in emerging markets, mobile internet retailing will reach a tipping point in 2019 and account for the majority of internet retailing sales. The share of internet retailing taking place through a smartphone or tablet will be 52% in 2019. In 2023, the proportion will be 58%.

With this rapid growth of connectivity, the “Connected stores: Bringing physical/digital convergence to life” session at World Retail Congress on May 14 will tackle ways to bridge the gap between physical stores and the digital world. Retailers will share ideas on how to leverage in-store technology to cater to these connected consumers. The next wave of digital disruption will come as more households gain access to the internet through their mobile phones. Retailers will need to reinvent their businesses for a mobile-first world.

Euromonitor is a partner of World Retail Congress. The three-day Congress brings together the leaders of today’s global retail industry from the established market leaders to the most innovative start-ups and disruptors; from national market leaders to the most international. It is a prestigious forum for retail leaders to meet to share insight, form powerful connections and to help shape the retail future.

Retailers get 10% off your retailer pass with code EUROMON1019 at checkout. Download our complimentary report, Top Trends Shaping the Global Retailing Industry.