Woman writing profit calculations in a paper notebook Photo by Malvestida Magazine.

Market trends expert Richard van Hooijdonk has shared his predictions for the future of fashion retail. As consumers expect ever-increasing levels of convenience, choice, and rapid service, fashion retailers must adapt in-line with these shifting expectations.

The good news is, brick and mortar is not dead. According to eMarketer, a market research body, 92% of US retail sales still happen in brick and mortar stores. For this reason, fashion retailers are focusing on creating tech-enabled brick and mortar stores rather than moving fully online.

Beacons

One way fashion retailers are using tech to power up their retail stores is through beacon technology. Beacons are bluetooth-enabled devices that are installed at various locations around the store and can deliver context-sensitive deals and promotions to customer cell phones. They’re already in use at massive fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters and Macy’s, with many more fashion retailers set to deploy beacons to their stores by 2020.

Big Data

Big data is also playing an increasingly large role in the plans of fashion retailers. Big data brings together customer purchase data with information from social media and activity on the retailer’s website. It can be used to predict trends and design targeted promotions based on a customer’s interest in particular products and brands.

Sleeker Stores

The trend away from store as warehouse continues, with more retailers replacing racks of clothes in stores with experiences like free manicures, personal shoppers, drink service, and in-store tailoring. Increasingly, clothes are purchased online and shipped to the store where the customer can try them on and get personalized outfit recommendations. Other stores, like Bonobos, are experimenting with free shipping of in-store purchases to the customer’s home address, and displaying only one item per size and colour, freeing up space in-store for more creative merchandising and brand experiences.

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