As we close out November and move into December, it’s that time again for the annual retail predictions. While always interesting and fun, the predictions have become a realistic gauge of what many retailers will be focusing on for the coming year. It doesn’t seem that long ago when people were predicting the death of the retail store or even just the death of retail. Now respected retail news outlets, such as Chain Store Age, are reaching out to people with their finger directly on the pulse of retail to get their thoughts for the following year.
For next years’ predictions, Antuit’s CEO, Craig Silverman, was asked along with several other respected retail experts what 2020 will bring. Here are Craig's predictions from the Expert Opinions: Retail Predictions 2020 article in Chain Store Age:
- Touchless Demand Planning: Artificial intelligence will improve forecast accuracy, especially for new and slower turning products, such that more and more demand planning will become no touch or low touch, requiring human intervention for only the most value-added product scenarios.
- Unified Demand Signal: Rather than rely on siloed solutions, companies will start incorporating the same demand forecasting signal across their organizational functions – from sales planning to demand planning to pricing/promotional planning – each working off the same near real-time data and algorithms, so decisions applied by one function are immediately seen and impact understood by other functions.
- Omnichannel-Ready Merchandising: Softlines retailers will start to rely on advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to more intelligently price and assort their merchandise pre-season, then make in-the-moment promotional and markdown decisions in-season, to maintain and improve their sell-through while providing their customers an exceptional experience no matter where they choose to purchase or return.
- More personalized loyalty programs: Consumers will start to demand, and retailers and restaurant companies will have to step up their game to provide, hyper-personalized 1:1 offers that are highly relevant to each individual consumer to not only ensure their loyalty with repeat business, but to increase frequency of visits and size of each basket or ticket.
By all accounts, it appears that it is going to be an exciting year for retailers, technologists, and consumers as new capabilities and technologies are coming to life. Retail has gone from laggard to leader in new technologies. Seeing what’s next is fueling the excitement and future innovations.
Be sure to view all of the retail experts' answers and predictions here: Expert Opinions: Retail Predictions 2020.