Millennials continue to grow in importance for the U.S. economy, and retailers are no exception. Millennials want to be able to shop whenever, wherever and have a seamless experience switching between brick-and-mortar, web and mobile purchases.
The confluence of online presence, mobile applications and brick-and-mortar means that retailers must invest in innovation to remain competitive. Fortunately, according to the
7th annual CIT Retail Outlook study, retail executives are aware of the need to direct resources toward building an omnichannel strategy to help ensure their future success. In addition, CIT has also shared
five omnichannel retail trends expected to play an important role in 2016.
Most respondents to the CIT Retail Outlook study, conducted from August 26, 2015 to September 21, 2015, online among 250 senior middle market retail executives by Harris Poll, characterize revenue as growing from website (71%), in-store (59%) and mobile (57%) sales. In addition, retailers are placing an emphasis on tech when setting their priorities for the coming year.
The report corroborates what we have been observing over the past few years with our clients and provides us insight into what retail executives are focusing on, both in terms of their near-term tactics and long-term strategies. We're witnessing an increased fusion between brick-and-mortar, web and mobile strategies intertwined with social media to build brands and customer loyalty. The use of improved customer data is helping to achieve efficient targeted marketing using these mediums to build sales to all generations - from millennials to baby boomers.
Even as they invest in remaining ahead of changing consumer habits, most retailers reported feeling optimistic about their prospects for sales and revenue growth. About 70% predicted good results from sales in all channels when looking toward the near-term future, with about 6 in 10 (58%) projecting that holiday sales increases would reach 6% or more. As a result, around half or more of retailers surveyed indicated they planned to increase hourly employees (62%), in-store exempt employees (49%) and employees dedicated to Internet/mobile sales (62%) during the holiday season.
Other findings of the study include:
In sum, while the rapid evolution of consumer behavior will continue to create challenges and opportunities for retailers, overall, there are many retailers that are focused on managing the changes they are facing in the market.
To learn more, read the full report at
cit.com/retailoutlook, and consider sharing it with your network on LinkedIn.
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With e-commerce becoming increasingly prevalent, social shaking things up and brick-and-mortar-focused retailers stepping up their online game, 2017 will prove to be an interesting year for retail.