2017 is going to be an exciting year, not only for small and medium-sized business owners, but also large business owners are going to start to see shifts in their minds. I think they are going to have the biggest impact on how everyone else is going to be running a business. In the last few years, Nordstrom and companies like Nordstrom started to embrace more of the “shop-in-a-shop”. They’re embracing more of the smaller brands. They’re realizing that brick-and-mortar spaces aren’t inventory liabilities. In fact, they are media opportunities.
New and Greater Touchpoints
A media opportunity is simply another touchpoint for the consumer to engage with the brand. It’s simply the synergy between e-commerce, mobile, and that in-person experience, which is brick-and-mortar, or pop-up shops. As you started to notice brands like Nordstrom getting on board, you’re going to also notice other companies out there will be embracing the shop-in-shops and also pop-up shop concept more frequently. As a small business owner and a small brand owner, those opportunities for you will increase in 2017. Subsequently, it’s going to really help the larger retailers, as consumers will be driving to their stores trying to get engaged and see what’s new, what’s cool, and what all the new noise is about.
My next prediction for 2017 is that brand owners are going to start launching mobile first. Meaning, as opposed to hiring a developer and saying, “Hey, can you build me a website?” They’re going to say, “Hey, can you build me a mobile platform?” Maybe that takes shape in an app. Maybe that’s just a mobile-optimized platform where that e-commerce is built secondary. Why is that? The reason why is that 20% of all sales came from mobile e-commerce last year. That number is expected to continuously increase by 10% and 20% over the next few years. So in order to stay relevant and stay in the game, mobile first.
You’re also going to find mobile advertising is going to be a new place to spend more of your dollars. You might be thinking right now, “Well, when I place a Facebook ad, I placed across all the channels available.” But no, your landing pages, your content are going to become more mobile first focused. Don’t just think about putting it on all channels, in all platforms, really segment and think about that. 2017 is going to be big for mobile advertising and building mobile sites.
Larger Open-to-Buys (OTB)
Next, I think one of the biggest trends out there is going to be how retail buyers are continuously shaping the nature of their open-to-buys. We all know business has been changing since 2008. Retailers are buying smaller quantities. They’re trying to buy more frequently, but yet at the same time, they still spend most of their dollars in the traditional spring/summer and fall/winter seasons. This is going to change. We’re going to start to see smaller retailers and larger retailers increase their open-to-buys over a longer period of time. Meaning spring/summer buys are still going to be extremely important, but there’s going to be more money to bring in units. There’s going to be more money to bring in immediates.
There is a growing consciousness that, with these brands that have been launching new business models such as shows at fashion week that sell on the spot, these retailers have got to compete. Also, the way to compete with that and the way to embrace that is to open up their dollars and start to spend money more frequently on a great product.
360-Degree Media Touchpoint
The other thing that I think is going to be really big in 2017 is thinking about our consumer experience in terms of a 360-degree media touch point experience. We all know it takes about six touchpoints in order to get a consumer to fully engage or purchase the products. So what six touchpoints are those going to be for you?
In-Person Selling Events
I predict you’re going to be doing more pop-up shops, more in-person selling events, things like Unique LA or Artists & Fleas, or even other types of more niche, more specific, focused markets are going to be things that you start to look at as well.
Your main goal is going to be where your customers are and your customers don’t only exist online. In fact, only 20% of all the products that are purchased, are purchased through e-commerce. There are only 20% of all products. Now that doesn’t mean only 20% of ready-to-wear, so I’m not going to simply overstate that segment. But it is important to realize that your customers exist in real life as well as online, and we’re going to start to see a renaissance of those products being sold both online and in-person.
Have fun planning out your next year. It’s going to be a wild ride and in the room of retail, be happier in it, because it’s always changing and I’m here to guide you through it. If you have questions, want to talk shop, or plan out your strategy, get in touch.