The Future of Retail in 2023

The Future of Retail – What to Watch for in 2023



With the end of year fast approaching, we take a look at what industry experts are projecting for retail trends next year. 

Let’s get Phygital: Get used to hearing this catch phrase – coined to capture the idea of seamlessly integrating a physical and digital customer journey. If you are familiar with Reality, you have heard us mention the much more appropriate Customer Driven Retail. With customer loyalty up for grabs (a third of customers reporting to be willing to leave a brand after just one bad experience), retailers are working on meeting customers where they are, and giving them the options they want.  “This choice is what keeps customers loyal and allows them to choose the right journey that suits their needs in that moment,” says Mike Hughes, Forbes Contributor. 

Continued growth in e-commerce, but the majority of consumers still reliant on in-store shopping for some part of the shopping journey: While e-commerce is forecast to account for 24% of global retail sales by 2026 and see a 20% increase in spending in 2023 to $36 billion, there remains 76% of customers who are still tied to the in-store experience. The convenience of new models such as buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS), and buy-online-pickup-at-curbside (BOPAC) keep physical retail in the loop. Forrester also suggests a reckoning for online only brands: “Develop physical presence of some kind — or falter.” However, clearly any retailers that rely on a more traditional brick and mortar approach are going to continue to be at a massive disadvantage.

Leveraging the power of new technology to meet rising consumer expectations.
Technologies such as AR, VR, and other metaverse experiences will continue to help retailers meet ever increasing expectations from consumers. Major retailers launched metaverse experiences in 2022, taking the platform far beyond gaming to other happenings such as product launches and events and we don’t see this slowing down in 2023. 

Sustainability and the increase of the belief-driven buyer.
Two out of three consumers identify with a strong desire to know that the products and services we buy are created in an environmentally-friendly way by organizations with solid environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.This will only increase in 2023 and beyond. Sustainability matters, and retailers that successfully adapt to this trend will find that they quickly build stronger bonds of trust and loyalty with their customers. 

Watch out for other trends such as an increase in the popularity of voice enabled shopping and social commerce. 

Let us help you navigate your retail roadmap in 2023 and beyond. Talk to a Reality team member today and let’s visualize your future. 

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