**Original post by Lindsey Imperatore and can be found HERE.
Experts predict that next year, online retail sales will almost reach $3 trillion. Predictions for brick-and-mortar retail have been dwindling over the last decade but expect big changes to reverse that trend as well. What will the retail 2018 landscape look like? Here’s what you can expect.
Expect More Direct Targeted Outreach to Customers
The IoT and mobile technology will likely only get broader as we move through 2018. These technologies are going to make lead generation much easier for retailers; automating more big data analysis to improve warehousing and distribution channels, customer management and retention, and targeted ads, emails, and social media posts directly to mobile devices of CRE buyers, tenants, sellers, owners, developers, architects, etc.
Expect More Standard Adoption of Advanced Technology
Right now, retail has already begun moving away from point-of-sale terminals at their physical stores and adopting more advanced cashless payment options similar to what consumers are used to when shopping online. As retail giants continue to adopt these technologies, they will become standard. Things like:
· Beacon Technology
· Computerized Shelf Labeling
· Interactive Shopping Carts
· BOPIS Options (Buy-Online-Pay-In-Store)
· Virtual Dressing Rooms
· And More
Many of these tools will rely on mobile technology to work which will affect the type of connectivity requirements that retailers will need going forward. Expect some or all of these new technologies to shape the retail landscape next year.
Expect More Brick-and-Mortar Experiential Shopping
Traditional retailers are working hard to breathe new life back into their diminishing physical assets by experimenting with new ways to bring foot traffic back to their stores. One of the biggest changes we can expect in retail over the next year is the move toward moreexperiential shopping.
Now that this innovation is beginning to take off, malls are turning into community gathering places where people go for entertainment, creative dining, and unique in-store shopping experiences. Combined with the move to use grocery stores as anchors, these experiments in retail have enormous potential to completely restore and revitalize flagging shopping centers and malls.
Are You Prepared for 2018?
Many of these changes are going to have a big effect on the retail landscape overall. Sales are expected to climb as long as macro economic factors hold. If that is so, smart retailers have a chance to seize on the opportunity to attract more traffic online and offline.
Instead of shuttering, some traditional retailers are looking to adopt a more comprehensive strategy to boost their online presences with updated on-demand services while also looking to restore their dominance in the physical realm. On the other side, online sales will continue to grow, helping retailers to multiply their revenue streams simultaneously.