2017 was an absolute disaster for the retail industry, with some even referring to it as the ‘Retail Reckoning’ and ‘Retail Apocalypse’. But for as many stores that closed during that trying time, more opened. In fact, as one study showed, for every company that closed stores, nearly 3 were opening more. That means that in 2017, there were 4k more stores that opened than closed. According to figures provided by IHL Group, 2018 should see an additional 5.5k stores open. So what trends might 2018 hold for the CE retail market? Here‘s a quick rundown!
1. Improved DS Index – possibly.
The DS Index was quick to reflect the retail industry’s downward spiral in April, and the eventual all-time-low when it settled in September. Retailers weren’t quiet about their frustrations with weak sentiments and virtually no foot traffic through the summer months. However, everything was blown out of proportion, and 2017 actually started the year off with retailers having a confidence score that set records. Though there will be typical ebb and flow, 2018 promises higher confidence scores.
2. Using omnichannel strategies will rake in the customers.
This was probably the coolest buzzword in the retail market of 2017 and it refers to the combination of online and in-person shopping experiences a business has. Having a strong omnichannel strategy is going to rake in the customers and the cash. There are tons of ways to do omnichannel right, but we won’t be covering that in this quick breakdown.
3. Sales goals to be met or exceeded by CE retailers.
Despite the hysteria surrounding 2017 sales, they never dipped so far that retailers missed their sales goals. February showed the closest it came, and that was still a 52-48 split. Those numbers rose steadily through the last months of 2017, with October reporting a record number of consumer electronic retailers who exceeded or met their goals. The numbers suggest that these sales will only continue to climb through 2018.
4. Quirky consumers will bring back the popularity of digital cameras.
Much like Hipster Millenials helped to revive vinyl over that last half-decade, they’re expected to boost sales of digital cameras starting in 2018. It may sound strange as, out of 10, digital imaging tracked a high 5 for most of 2017. However, it suddenly ballooned and clocked in at nearly 7 (6.85) by December. While smartphones were thought to have taken the place of digital cameras, the nostalgic resurgence may see much larger profits in 2018.
5. Connected Home will finally take off.
Though consumers have been either skeptical, ill-equipped, or genuinely uneducated about Connected Home, 2017 saw sales improving slightly, leading to predictions that it will be worth $137.91 billion by 2023. Between a high confidence rating on the DS Index, a rise in consumers buying smart technology, and a growth in popularity, 2018 is expected to see a rise in Connected Home sales.