What can retailers expect in 2013 and beyond?
Although retailers are extremely busy with the holiday season, many are keeping their minds on the coming new year. Once the holiday rush is over, merchants will be focusing on 2013 and what it holds for their operations. There are sure to be changes to a variety of aspects in the coming year, including technology, security, retail management software and marketing. However, retailers will just have to wait and see happens in their future, as there is no certain way to know what the new year will bring.
Internet retail sales to be boosted even more
Consumers are increasingly going online and especially throughout the holiday shopping season, to stock up on items they want themselves or plan to give to others. This purchasing behavior is expected to rise even more in 2013, according to Ben Smith, CEO of Wanderful Media. Writing for Independent Retailer, Smith states that this boost in ecommerce will be due in large part to online retailers offering more perks, such as free shipping and same-day delivery, which will drive shoppers to their sites.
However, Smith's predictions don't apply just to ecommerce retailing. He writes that larger retail stores will begin including brand-specific barcodes on their products as way to prevent showrooming, which is when customers use their smartphones and tablets to purchase items online while they are at brick-and-mortar locations. To keep revenue coming directly into their coffers, these businesses will create barcodes that cannot be scanned by consumers' devices.
Looking beyond 2013
It's difficult to predict what will happen for retailers in the future, and it's even harder to develop expectations for the years to come. Internet Retailing cites a study by Spring UK which revealed some ideas that companies have about potential for the retail industry. One idea is that stores will no longer be manned by people, but instead by robots and other forms of technology. Another aspect is that customers will no longer be forced to go to stores or have their purchased items shipped to their homes, as they will be able to print products on their own through 3D printers and devices. These elements are of course anticipated to be at least 20 years in the future, but it's fun to create predictions about where retailers could be headed.