12/20/2013 8:00 PM ET|
10 trends changing how you'll shop in 2014
You'll order things more easily and they will be more tailored to your needs. See what 2014 will bring.
As the U.S. economy continues to its slow climb from the depths of the recession, a better job market and increased home values finally have consumers spending again. It’s clear that the U.S. consumer is back.
Still, today’s consumer is not the same debt-laden, luxury-lusting, frequent shopper that hit the malls back in 2008. More than 70 percent of shoppers still feel like they’re in a recession and are shopping less than they did five years ago, according to a recent Nielsen study.
Changes to the consumer psyche aren’t the only things changing the way we purchase things. Technological advances and evolving expectations are also altering the shopping experience. Here are 10 trends that will change the way you shop in 2014:
1. Mobile purchasing goes mainstream. E-commerce has been growing for years, but now consumers are shifting away from purchasing items from their desktop or laptop to buying via their phone or tablet. In 2013, mobile shopping accounted for 17 percent of Cyber Monday shopping, a 55 percent increase over 2012, according to IBM. Experts expect the shift to mobile to accelerate even further in 2014.
2. Delivery times will decrease. Just as most online retailers have made free shipping de rigueur, they’re also shortening delivery times. For years now, Amazon has offered 48-hour shipping to its Prime customers, and now the shipping giant, along with competitors like Wal-Mart and Google are testing same-day delivery in some markets. Other retailers like Best Buy allow customers to pick up an item in-store within a few hours of placing an order.
3. Everything will be personalized. Advances in manufacturing and other technology are allowing more retailers to offer customers what’s known as “mass customization,” or the ability to personalize everything from sneakers to cell phones. Consumers can create products to their exact specifications, including colors, size, and features. Early adopters of mass customization, including Nike and Warby Parker have proven that buyers will pay a premium for bespoke items.
4. New outlet stores abound. Today’s consumer is both brand-aware and cost-conscious, making him the ideal outlet store shopper, and developers and retailers have taken note. More than half of all Saks stores are now outlets, and 13 of the 15 planned stores for the next two years will be outlet stores. Nordstrom is planning 30 more Nordstrom Rack stores in 2014.
5. Your phone is your wallet. Although making mobile wallets mainstream is still a few years off, their acceptance at major retailers and by consumers will continue to grow next year. Experts expect many of the startup mobile wallet players to consolidate this year, leaving a few big players—like PayPal and Google--to make inroads with shoppers. Early adopters may score some great perks or incentives for testing out the technology.
6. Big Boxes continue get smaller. Department stores and other large retailers like Best Buy realized a few years ago that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to store size, especially since even the biggest store can’t compete with the offerings of a virtual warehouse like Amazon. Accelerating the shift is a trend among consumers away from malls and exurbs, back to traditional urban centers and smaller downtown “Main Street” type areas, that don’t accommodate 40,000-square-foot storefronts.
7. Couponing will go high-tech. The post-recession consumer is still spending carefully and looking for ways to stretch his dollar, with 51 percent of consumers using coupons more often, according to McKinsey & Co.But today’s coupon users aren’t clipping the Sunday circulars or even searching online for the best coupon. Instead, they’re putting technology to work for them with tools like the web-based Coupons at Checkout, which automatically scans the Web to give you a relevant discount code before you make a purchase, or Shopular, a mobile app that automatically sends you phone coupons when you walk into a store.
8. Buying local goes beyond the grocery store. The move toward locally sourced items has taken firm root in the food space, both in restaurants and at grocery stores, but now the trend is expanding into the broader retail space. More than a third of consumers in the recent holiday season said they planned to shop at small, local businesses, up from about a quarter in 2012, according to Deluxe Corp. This shift reflects growing demand for unique products and personalized service, as well as an awareness that shopping local can boost one’s home economy.
9. In-store experiences will be better. After years of lamenting showrooming—the practice of seeing, touching and testing a product in a store before buying it online—retailers are now finding ways to differentiate the in-store shopping experience from the one shoppers find online. They’re offering in-store only products, events, and services, aimed at bringing and keeping customers into their stores, and getting them to spend money while they’re there. More than 80 percent of consumers said they’d pay more for a product if they had a great experience with it, according to a study by branding agency Jack Morton.
10. Big data will bring more dynamic pricing. Like all industries, retail is turning to big data to find ways to maximize profits, which often means instituting dynamic pricing models both online and in-store. Retailers have always increased prices during times of high demand and slashed them when traffic is weaker, but today’s data allows them to do this in a much more relevant and real-time manner. In addition to shifting prices based on demand, retailers will use geo-targeting and other technology to maximize prices based on both geographic and consumer-purchasing history.
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I certainly hope that number 9, "In-store experiences will be better" is true. However, from what I have experienced in the past few years, I have certainly seen a decline! Okay I shall admit that I am not a big fan of shopping. I know what I want to buy in advance and I want to get into the store, make my purchase and get out.
Two years ago I knew exactly what I wanted before I went into Best Buy, a Kindle Fire. When I arrived a sales clerk took my name on a clipboard similar to a wait list in a restaurant. I told her that all I wanted was a Kindle Fire and pointed to a locked cabinet. No, she said, I must wait to be served by a another salesperson. The guy behind me wanted the same thing. She told him that he had to wait as well. We got to talking and I told him that no doubt they wanted to sell us an extended warranty and after about a twenty minute wait, that was exactly what happened. I sent a very polite letter to the suits at Best Buy expressing my frustration. I never received the courtesy of a reply. And I have not stepped foot into a Best Buy since nor do I have any intention of doing so in the future.
Two weeks ago on a weekday afternoon I went into a Kohl's to purchase slippers for a gift. After a short time, I located them and proceeded to the check out. There were only two cashiers open out of four and each line had at least eight people waiting. Due to problems that others had processing credit cards and getting coupon credits, I have to wait twenty minutes for a $14 pair of slippers! I will not be going back to Kohl's again soon.
Other than groceries, I shall start buying just about everything on-line.!
I am an "I want it now" shopper.
With brick and mortar stores you can go get it and have it now.
The change to online shopping means any purchase needs to be planned 3 days ahead.
Many wish that Technology was more advanced yet when I see these type of alleged advancements as those listed I tend to go far away from such. I prefer real life, trying on real clothes not just images and if I shop I prefer to do so in person not on a tech device that may be hacked by an ****.
Keep in mind that as tech evolves so do more hackers!
PS, seriously I do not own a cell phone nor do I want one:
A. They don't work in my area of residence
I don't wish to be another rude **** on the road in line or at the grocery store.
Yet I am beginning to believe that I am a rare breed as I prefer real life over that of having a tech dependent life!
A good insight into the progression of the retail arena. Free market acitvity always shakes out
depending on free will choices of the masses. It's interesting to see how technology, services and a return to niche products are woven into the very fabric of society and individual conciousness. I wonder if someday a paper dollar bill will have any worth.
It seems as a country we have lost our vision.
# 1 We can not claim that we are technologically advance compare to other parts of the world.
#2 We have low job satisfaction rate compare to other european cities.
#3 We have un comfortable job environments and low job security compare to other advanced countries.
So what's the point of this blah blahs, unless they area made for 0.01% of the population.
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