Those that deliver value… or don’t
I predict 2019 will be a year of massive contrasts: a division between those companies that aim to create massive value by delivering the consumer and shopper experience their customer want, and those that don’t.
2019 will bring a year of pressure and unease for many brands and retailers. Retailer profits will remain under pressure, and those retailers will in turn put pressure on their suppliers.
The question is about how companies respond. Those that double down on costs, and believe they can win with price and discounts, will end 2019 under more pressure than they began. Those that embrace the new retail reality will be the ones that will see success, or at least will begin to see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
We’ll see plenty of experimentation at retail, plenty of ‘new shiny tech’. But much of that experimentation will fail, because it will be technology for the sake of technology’s sake: rather than focused on delivering a better experience. Companies that really understand what consumers and shoppers really desire as an experience will flourish.
In retail, we’ll see more acquisitions, partnerships and mergers and possibly a major bankruptcy or two. Large store formats will continue to repurpose space as traffic and basket size continues to decline. Retail chains will continue to look at small store solutions, as convenience is clearly king. Discounters will not go away, and will continue to grow and become less like a discounter with every passing day. Large store retailers will cut ranges, and we’ll see private label share steadily growing. Online will continue to grow rapidly.
In summary 2019 will be a year of challenge, but a year of opportunity. A year for marketers at both manufacturer and retailers to really challenge themselves to deliver better experiences. To become truly customer-centric. To stop talking brands and categories, and to talk shoppers and missions. I really hope we see more of that in 2019!