We’re counting down the days to the new year and with it anticipating what trends will come for Canadian retailers.
We’ve taken a look ahead into 2019 to see what’s in store for the retail, grocery, and hardware industries. Here’s what we might expect to see.
- Stores will be transformed into destinations, incorporating public spaces, a wider range of services, cultural programming, events, and more.
- Emergence of augmented reality (AR). From Lowe’s developing an app to view furniture in your house before purchase, to Amazon integrating AR into its mobile app search function, AR has seen a surge in 2018 and in 2019, we predict that trend isn’t going anywhere.
- E-commerce continuing to rise in popularity. While online shopping has had a slower growth in Canada vs. the U.S., we expect that in 2019 Canadians will embrace digital more, especially as more brands add it to their repertoire.
- Online-only brands will continue opening bricks-and-mortar locations. In the past few years, we have seen several online stores, like Frank + Oak, Canada Goose, Indochino, and even Amazon, opening physical locations. We predict this trend will continue.
- Mobile checkouts will increase. Google, Samsung, and Apple all offer ways for customers to pay with their phones. We predict this will shortly become a popular payment method.
- Data, data, data. Machine learning helps dive into demographic information to truly understand your customer base and create a customized buying experience. This is only going to grow.
- Voice will change how consumers shop. Lyft users can order rides directly from Amazon’s Alexa. Staples is launching a voice-activated ordering system in its “Easy Button.” And Walmart has made items available to purchase by voice on the Google Express eCommerce Platform through Google Home.
- Visual shopping. In the tech of 2019, shoppers will be able to take a picture of an item they already own (like a pair of shoes) and search for similar items available to buy online. They’ll also be able to shop from photos shared on social media. Smartphone cameras will effectively become the new search engines.
- Auto-replenishment. It will become standard for customers to place standing orders for everyday items, like laundry detergent, grocery staples, batteries, and more. These will be delivered to their home at a pre-determined schedule.
- Canada’s revamped Food Guide. Phase one came out in 2018. Phase two will be released in 2019, which could change what food products consumers buy.
- Healthy is the new junk food. Items like kombucha, organic vegetables, coconut flour, and the like — once available only at health food stores — are already becoming more prevalent at mainstream grocers. We predict this will keep growing.
- Scan-and-go technology and self-checkouts will be introduced at more stores.
- Meal kits will continue to grow in popularity, as will delivery services.
- “Grocerants” – grocery stores with prepared meals and section to sit and eat — will continue to grow, rivaling restaurants for dining business and will feature healthier fare.
- Staff knowledge will be more important than ever. Stores and staff need to support the customer journey for both DIY homeowners and professional contractors. Hardware staff need to be well-versed in their products, so they can have a meaningful interaction with clients.
- Smart technology will boom. Items like ovens you can control with your mobile device and all-in-one washer/dryers will become the new norm.
- Green building products, such as reclaimed wood, cork, bamboo, and engineered wood floors, will become more popular.
- The market for herbs and edible garden plants will expand. As more Canadians are moving into condos and small spaces, urban agriculture and specialty products, like vertical gardening for condo owners, will take off.
- The cannabis market will continue to expand. Legalized in October 2018, cannabis in Canada is only just beginning. We will see new products enter the market and the introduction of edibles.
- Pharma-on-demand will continue to expand, so consumers can get prescriptions faster and easier.
Storesupport Canada can help you navigate all the retail trends for 2019 and beyond. Contact us today. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.