Top Merchandising Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Posted by Cindy Banker on 9/22/17 3:30 PM

In March, we published an article on the top retail merchandising trends for 2017.  And while those trends will continue to carry over into 2018, there are some trends that will become even more prevalent in the year ahead..

  • Consumers are interested in becoming engaged with the brands they buy and the retail environment must encourage that engagement.
  • Consumers need a stress-free shopping experience and smaller is better.  Smaller stores offer greater acessiblity.  Stress-free pick-up and door-to door delivery will become a mainstay for many shoppers. 
  • Consumers will become more dependent on technology from mobile payment options, to shopping within social apps.

Top Merchandising Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Trends we will continue to track in 2017

While many consumers are shopping online, a recent Pew Research Center study found that a majority of Americans still prefer making an in-store purchase when all things are equal.That’s why it’s worth looking at 2017’s retail trends as you plan your next POP displays. Here are a few things experts are watching this year.

1. Customers want in-store experiences

Retailers can convince consumers to visit their stores by offering an experience they can’t find through on-line shopping. In some cases, this means bringing the perks of on-line shopping to the physical world. A leading retail software company uses the example of Crate and Barrel, which lets shoppers use in-store tablets to browse the shelves and scan barcodes to get product information.

But other retailers are offering services that aren’t always available from on-line retailers. That could mean prepared meals at supermarkets, or things like blood pressure monitoring at pharmacies to restringing of tennis rackets at sporting goods stores. 

It’s like a reversal of the 1950s,” Fast Company writes. “Doctors don’t make house calls—in fact, you drive to any service you want. But that cup of sugar you need from the store? That’s delivered. We go places for people, not things..

2. Big box stores will begin to evolve

retail merchandising trends for 2017For years, big box stores relied on a customer base that lived in the suburbs, drove to places like Walmart, flocked to the POP displays carrying your products and filled up their car with groceries. Then along came the millennial generation, which is settling in cities, and not buying cars.

Experts say that could lead big box retailers to adapt, opting for stores that are essentially warehouses with a smaller retail storefront. Instead of building new superstores, these retailers could potentially also open satellite stores with less inventory.

The British chain Tesco has already adopted this model, and the website Geek Wire reports that Amazon is flirting with the idea of a drive-up neighborhood grocery store in Seattle.

Target, meanwhile is opening flexible-format stores, Fast Company reports.

 "They’re getting very, not to be punny, targeted to where they’re opening up," Sidney Morgan-Petro of the trend forecasting agency WGSN tells the magazine. "A lot of them are college campus stores or urban campus stores."

As these stores change their make-up, product manufacturers may need to adapt their approach to manufacturing displays.

3.  Customers want to buy from companies who value quality, sustainability and transparency

“Shoppers are no longer content not knowing everything about the products they’re purchasing,” says a leading POS software maker, in its look at 2017 retail trends.

Consumers want to know where their money is going as well as what they are buying, which means they want to know the backstory behind the high-quality products you provide.

Shoppers are gravitating to retailers who value sustainability, and who are transparent about their operations: where goods come from, what they are made from and who made them.

4. Creating a narrative

retail merchandising trends for 2017On the web, product manufacturers use narratives to appeal to a certain persona who is most likely to buy from their site. To master this practice, companies must understand their customers and their brand, and know what story their product is trying to tell.

A similar trend is happening offline as well, says Samantha Carr of Business2Community. Product makers are targeting specific customers who want to accomplish specific objectives and building a narrative to reach them.

“As you’re planning merchandising displays, curate products and brands with a story in mind,” Carr writes. “Who is your target customer, and what do they want? Why do they visit a retail store? Then plan and organize products that help them live out that story.”

No matter what changes happen in the retail merchandising world, ProCorr is prepared to help your company meet new challenges and keep up with emerging trends.

From club stores to big box stores to convenience stores, we understand the intricacies of working with different retailers. Our team includes structural and graphic designers, packaging experts, and manufacturing and quality control professionals.

As your brand explores new ways to tell its story, we’ll be there with eye-catching graphic packaging and POP displays. Contact us today and let our team create POP displays that will attract your customers, no matter the latest retail trends.

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