As the retail industry continues to evolve rapidly, led by advancements in digital channels and consumer preferences, Kelkoo explores this year’s essential trends.

There’s no escaping the fact that the way consumers interact with their favourite retail brands is changing. Below are five trends that will help you grow your online store and continue to expand your business in 2019 and beyond. 

1. Experiences and interaction

More and more consumers are spending with their emotions rather than their wallets as popular culture and social media make brands easily accessible.

Marrying brand culture with consumers’ changing values will ensure that your online store remains a firm favourite. 

Consumers are also increasingly experience led and high street stores such as John Lewis and Superdrug are now cashing in on the growing experiential market, selling events, interactive experiences and even beauty treatments to customers.

From eyebrow waxing to Champagne bars in store, brands are having to rethink how to position and market these experiences if they want to remain ahead of competitors.

2. Augmented reality

From trying a new item of furniture before you buy, to tailored ads and individual product recommendations, augmented reality and the power of personalised algorithms are shaping the way that consumers shop.

Furniture giants Ikea and Wayfair have even developed their own apps enabling browsers to place products in their own homes before splashing out.

“Boost your opportunities for brand engagement and customers will keep coming back to your store”

And luxury retailers such as Burberry have produced apps allowing shoppers to browse and shop the latest catwalk trends as they are unveiled live during London Fashion Week.

Boost your opportunities for brand engagement and customers will keep coming back to your store.

3. Going green

Vegan skincare products, free-range meat and green lifestyle choices are driving the way consumers are set to spend their cash in 2019, with brands such as L’Oreal launching vegan-friendly shampoo and supermarket chain Iceland planning its seasonal marketing campaign around the elimination of palm oil.

In fact, more than 600,000 Brits are now vegans, according to The Vegan Society. The so-termed “Green Generation” provides an opportunity for brands to reposition their products.

Eco-friendly products and a responsible and sustainable business model should remain key focuses for retailers.

4. Improved ecommerce service

As ecommerce continues to lead the way in the retail sector, brands are having to consider improved services, such as faster shipping times and better return policies, to ensure that they stand out and deliver more value to consumers.

With online superstore Amazon revolutionising the shipping time and product offering available to consumers at the click of a button, online retailers need to consider how to up their ecommerce service to retain valued consumers – just as you would expect on the high street.

“Improved shipping times are a must for online stores to ensure customers no longer have to compromise on their overall buying experience”

Improved shipping times are a must for online stores to ensure customers no longer have to compromise on their overall buying experience.

And a simple checkout that includes a sign-up or opt-in mailing list during each sale will enable savvy stores to keep customers informed about much-loved or new-in products.

5. Subscription services

In today’s fast-paced world, buyers are after services that are tailored to their preferences, providing repeat delivery direct to their doors.

The confluence of these trends has resulted in the emergence of subscription ecommerce, meaning that businesses curate and select products and ship them to customers on a regular basis.

Hand in hand with users’ increasing search for experiences, consumers are willing to spend on a service that is personalised and unique. Subscription services are one to watch during 2019.

Keep these trends in mind, and watch clicks convert into sales for your online store this new year and beyond.