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Now, New, Next: Making thoughtful customer connections

With deeper customer engagement in mind, brands are reimagining elements within the customer journey, seeking out opportunities to make critical connections in the moments that matter most. From channel-less experiences to new social shopping opportunities, forward-thinking brands continue to keep the customer at the center of their strategies.
In the Summer/Fall Retail Trends Update, we take a look at how some of the trends we identified in our annual Now, New, Next retail trends report have evolved, driving the retail landscape forward.
1. Purposefully connected journeys: Making strategic connections across all channels
With their customers clearly in focus, brands are using tools and technology to purposefully connect all of their channels. This enables the brand to create incredibly consistent, impactful customer experiences that completely surround the customer and serve up the right information at the right time—however the customer chooses to engage.
  • Lush is piloting new “digital packaging.” Through a visual search function in the Lush app, users can see the product name, ingredients, price, and videos showing what the bath bomb would look like when dropped in water. This digitally immersive experience also eliminates packaging, appealing to the brand’s environmentally conscious customer base.
2. Embracing every body: Reaching new audiences
Consumers have a growing expectation that they will see themselves reflected in the brands they shop. Brands are responding by making strategic and conscious efforts to design more inclusive products, services, and experiences that enable consumers to access and engage—and make them feel like the brand sees them as they are.
  • IKEA has teamed up with two Israel-based nonprofits to create ThisAbles, modifications that can be added to IKEA furniture to make it friendlier to people with disabilities. The objects created are available as free online schematics and can be 3-D printed and added to the furniture.

3. Precise personalization: Unique points of inspiration
Brands continue to determine what personalization means to them—and how to use their data and knowledge of the customer to deliver tailored products, services, and experiences. From combining customer data with artificial intelligence-derived insights, to looking to the stars for inspiration, brands are getting creative in individualizing their offerings.

  • Tapping into a boom of interest in astrology, Amazon is now offering Prime members their horoscope paired with product and service recommendations. The brand is leveraging astrologist Anna Katz for the astrological readings and emailing Prime members monthly about what they should be putting their energy (and spend) into.

4. A social shopping revolution: Tapping the power of the social environment
Social media is quickly becoming a place where consumers are not just inspired—they are actively purchasing. Platforms are rolling out new commerce-enabling features and testing new ways to foster brand and customer engagement.

  • H&M is one of the brands handpicked by Instagram to pilot their new in-app shopping and checkout capabilities. Consumers can get inspired by shoppable H&M looks, and move to purchase in a newly streamlined experience—all without leaving their social media feed.
For more on these trends, check out the full 2019 Now, New, Next report.



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