Top emerging retail trends to follow in 2024

Retail is an ever-evolving industry and 2024 promises to bring a new wave of changes and trends that will reshape the way businesses operate. While these trends might manifest differently across various markets, they share common elements that impact retail globally.

 In this article, we will delve into five key retail trends for 2024, and more importantly, we will explore the strategies and actions manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers should consider to harness these trends for their benefit.

5 Retail trends to keep an eye on in the next year

Focus on Retail Media and Advertising

Retailers are transitioning from selling to shoppers to selling shoppers as an audience. This shift presents a unique opportunity and challenge for manufacturers and suppliers, as it impacts media buying and alters the dynamics of retail relationships. Companies must become truly omnichannel in their communication strategies and integrate consumer and shopper marketing efforts effectively.

Understanding the needs of your budget-restricted shoppers

Economic pressures continue to influence consumers across the world. To address this trend effectively, businesses must prioritize not only pricing strategies but also adapt their product offerings to cater to price-sensitive consumers. It's crucial to recognize that not all shoppers will respond in the same way to economic shifts. To navigate this, companies must identify the most valuable customer segments for their brand. Understanding what drives these shifts in shopper behavior is key.

Discount retailers have thrived in this environment by providing not only lower prices but also a compelling shopping experience that combines quality, price, and convenience. Beyond price, factors such as product quality and shopping convenience significantly influence consumers' decisions. Manufacturers and suppliers should aim to understand these factors to develop effective strategies and appeal to consumers during times of economic strain.

Loyal customers will always be in trend

The landscape of loyalty programs is evolving, with many retailers requiring customers to join their programs to access competitive pricing. This shift influences consumer behavior, leading to increased shelf space cluttered with loyalty-driven offerings. Companies should recognize this as an opportunity and a challenge. As retailers and stores evolve, shoppers will adapt to the changing environment. Therefore, businesses should ensure their in-store strategies effectively cut through the noise.

Retailers will continue to push suppliers to obtain and leverage loyalty data, creating new opportunities for businesses. Manufacturers and suppliers should prepare to utilize loyalty data effectively and blend it with other data sources to create actionable shopper insights. Many struggle to extract value from loyalty card data, making it essential to maximize the potential of this data source.

Sustainable, healthy, and fresh food

Innovation in the food sector is paramount for retailers. Fresh, ready-to-eat, and healthy food options are gaining prominence. However, this innovation comes at the expense of traditional product categories, leading to changes in shelf space and inventory allocation. 

Companies should broaden their category strategies to adapt to these changes, considering the larger challenges and opportunities within the category, not just the existing products on the shelves.

Make everything convenient

Consumers have become increasingly time-starved and seek quick and effortless shopping experiences. Convenience is no longer a luxury but an expectation, and brands that fail to meet these expectations risk losing customers to more convenient options.

The continued growth of e-commerce means that convenience is a central driver of consumer choices. Retailers need to offer user-friendly websites and mobile apps, efficient delivery options, and streamlined checkout processes to compete effectively.

Retailers and brands must provide a seamless experience across all channels, including brick-and-mortar stores, online, mobile, and social commerce. Convenience means that customers can browse, purchase, and return products via their preferred channel, often with uniform pricing and promotions.

Also, it’s essential to provide as many options for your customers as possible. From the way they shop (online, in-store, BOPIS, etc.) to the payment options available (credit card, BNPL, debit card, cash, coupons), providing more options shows shoppers that you care about their needs. 

Keeping up with trends in 2024

To thrive in this environment, manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers must adapt to emerging trends. Prioritizing value-focused strategies, understanding evolving loyalty dynamics, focusing on operational efficiency, embracing food innovation, optimizing convenience and rapid fulfillment, and harnessing the potential of retail media are all essential steps to succeed in the ever-evolving world of retail. By proactively responding to these trends, businesses can position themselves to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate potential challenges in the dynamic retail sector.

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