After a holiday retail season that met or surpassed consumer and business expectations, it's time to ask what's ahead for 2015. Here are some of the biggest predictions about what's to come in the retail world:
- Ease of use: Consumers are more overworked and stressed than ever, so products that deliver a time-saving solution will be the ones that succeed in 2015. For instance, ready-made meals are forecasted to sell better than ever this year.
- Organics: The food market is becoming all about the organic movement, since customers are interested in providing healthy and socially conscious lifestyles for their families. Organic food products is a market that is growing approximately 5-10 times faster than the overall food industry, according to Forbes Magazine.
- Personalized products: Customers today don't want mass-produced items that they can buy in large quantities. Instead, they want unique, personal items that represent their lifestyles. This increased demand for personalized shopping means that smaller brands are coming out on top, since they have more freedom to produce innovative items that respond directly to customers.
- Teen apparel is wearing down: Large-scale teen apparel stores are having a difficult time staying afloat, and Wet Seal recently decided to close 60 of its brick-and-mortar stores after the holiday season failed to recover its losses. This trend is occurring because teenagers are spending their money on higher ticket technological items, and aren't paying as much attention to fashion trends or designer clothes.
- Wearable tech: Smart gadgets will continue to grow in popularity this year, with wearable technology like smart watches and Fitbits taking over the market.
Make sure your business uses a credit card payment processor that includes inventory tracking capabilities, so you can observe the behavioral trends of your customer base and give them the best retail experience possible.