The post-pandemic period has seen fears of a recession and rising prices. And just when the globe was recovering, the Ukrainian War and the oil crisis set things back in the overall global economic outlook, lowering consumer spending in 2023 and 2024.
The supply chain disruption continues to be an issue, hitting firms with either an excess or lack of inventory as a result of customers’ uncertain purchasing behaviour. Many firms have shifted focus to restrategizing their procurement and order fulfilment techniques. Let us discuss what’s hot in 2024 and touch upon diverse technologies and the retail POS software for revolutionizing retail.
The year 2024 was one of growth and recovery as several businesses achieved record sales over the holiday season and many brands accelerated their expansion ambitions. People returned to their employment in 2024, raising demand for associated products such as office wear.
Despite the lingering dark clouds of the pandemic, brands and retailers are planning for a successful and fruitful year. Many experts believe that the trends likely to prevail in 2024 are a mixed bag. New ones like the Metaverse are catching up and other old ones, such as D2C and private labels are making a comeback in a modified avatar.
D2C Brand Consolidation, Dominance, and Growth
Growth: It is projected that the number of D2C enterprises will gradually increase by 2024, and current brands will grow their market position. If current trends continue, the Indian D2C industry is estimated to reach $100 billion by 2025.
Consolidation: D2C sales are expected to outperform conventional retail sales in terms of volume and value. As consumers get used to these technological interventions, businesses need to focus on consumer-centric retail strategies to flourish in the digitally-driven retail market. For doing this business owners are investing heavily in retail management software. One such software is offered by QueueBuster which includes billing, CRM, inventory management, e-store, Integration and much more.
e-Commerce: Another D2C trend that will gain traction this year is e-commerce. With the numerous new D2C brand launches in 2023, the year 2023 will focus on consolidation. Businesses are looking at alternatives since onboarding customers via digital channels is no longer unsustainable. Many D2C firms will also create their physical brand stores this year to develop customer connection and familiarity.
Increasing Number of Retailers on the Metaverse
Future potential: While there aren’t many metaverse stores in India right now, it’s believed that businesses will seize the chance to design a bright future. According to Netscribes, the metaverse industry is estimated to exceed $800 billion in 2024, with users spending one hour more every day on the metaverse by 2026.
Immersive experience: Retailers are flocking to Metaverse, seeing it as an opportunity to empower tech-savvy, gen-Z, and millennial customers. They are using technology to create immersive shopping experiences with an emphasis on in-person interactions and increasing the brand-consumer connection.
Virtual navigation, virtual shopping, virtual fitting rooms, and in-store displays are just a few of the creative ways retailers may make the most of this next-generation technology.
Private Labels Are Becoming More Popular
According to recent research, consumers are more price-conscious and defer non-essential purchases. This has resulted in a penchant for private-label brands. According to a Netscribes poll, 45% of customers moved to private labels because of their lower pricing, while 58% said the quality of private-label items was better than that of national brands. Private-label brand preference is expected to expand dramatically in 2024.
Vertical Markets Are Emerging
This year is also predicted to be one in which vertical markets develop, displacing pure-play D2C businesses. Consumers will seek the expertise of specialist curated markets, where they will benefit from both types as well as access to smaller niche groups having the same interests since there is too much choice and poor distinction among D2C businesses.
D2C brands often achieve more market opportunity growth and better margins than B2C products. We anticipate that the whole D2C ecosystem will go through a difficult maturation period this year.
Hybrid Retail Is Expanding
Many people believe that omnichannel commerce, which enables consumers to purchase whenever and wherever they choose, is the way to go. Because of the benefits of both the online and physical channels, this hybrid structure will evolve with new technologies and transform the way retail is done.
Rise Of Experiential Retailing
According to Adobe research, 32% of customers prefer in-store experiences over online experiences, and 74% are more inclined to purchase things after having a positive in-store experience. Consumers’ preference for experiential shopping is driving its growth.
As a consequence, a physical shop is now a location where consumers may be engaged with novel experiences like unique in-store promotions, free samples, product demos, and counselling. Technology-enabled experiences like various retail billing software and retail pos apps will gain traction as well.
Chatbots Are The Industry Standard for Consumer Involvement
According to retail sector analysts, customers will engage in more conversational commerce in the next few years, giving birth to chatbot adoption. The chatbot industry is predicted to be worth more than $102 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of about 35% from now until then.
As more customers want quick and easy interactions, AI-powered chatbots assist businesses to transform their customer relationships and experiences. Chatbots are a key medium for customer engagement for companies due to the one-to-one connection possibility with customers at scale.
With convenience and personalization at the forefront of consumers’ concerns, retailers will invest in AI-powered chatbots in 2023 to deliver similar experiences across their channels.
Environmentally Friendly Goods and Packaging
With more businesses using recyclable and sustainable materials for their goods, the effect on customers has been favourable. According to many studies, sustainability will no longer be a luxury but will be required by 2023. According to Insider Intelligence, 24% of buyers wanted items devoid of synthetic substances, 19% wanted firms to donate dead inventory, and the other 19% wanted affordable shipping packaging.
Despite the growing interest in all things sustainable, customers may be unwilling to pay a premium for them. According to a Capgemini Research Institute consumer trends analysis, just 41% of worldwide customers are ready to pay extra for a product they feel is sustainable.
The time and procedures necessary to integrate a POS system into your retail business will vary based on the size of the business, your level of technological expertise, and the complexity of your operations. In any event, the best course of action is to determine your business’s demands and then choose the ideal QB POS billing software for your retail store.
If you have a somewhat more complicated retail business, or if you run many stores with a large product catalogue, you can benefit from the QBuster POS solution. POS software providers like QueueBuster offer services to help get the system up and operating quickly.
Retail is unpredictable, and the distinction between brick-and-mortar mainstays and digitally native retailers is becoming hazier. The ‘retail apocalypse’ during the pandemic-ridden era demonstrates that, rather than having a single strategy, retailers must experiment, innovate and reinvent their operating model from the inside out with advanced retail-tech solutions aligned with business objectives while making it future-proof.
The future of retail is all about ensuring a seamless customer experience across all channels whether it is online or in retail stores. Investing in technologies like retail billing software, retail pos apps and retail management software is no longer an option but a necessity to ensure this with in-person interactions, immersive experiences and prescriptive sales rather than aggressive sales is the way of the future.
So if you are also looking to incorporate technology into your business then get in touch with or feel free to speak to an expert at QueueBuster for all your retail-related needs.
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