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Predictions For 2018's Biggest Retail Trends

Excerpted from Sleep Retailer

With 2017 soon coming to a close, the retail industry is at an interesting crossroads. While many retailers encountered challenges this past year, there were also a number of new and exciting innovations beginning to emerge. From cross-platform partnerships and creative merchandising strategies to data-driven technologies and meaningful shopping solutions, today’s retailers have a myriad of new tools at their disposal—if only they are willing to embrace the way the industry has evolved. As we head into the new year, we took a look outside of the mattress marketplace to gain a better understanding of where retail is headed.

Here are some of the biggest retail trends poised to make an impact in 2018.

The Power Of Personalized Recommendations
Product merchandising has long been designed around providing solutions to assumed consumer needs. Recently, that focus has shifted to delivering resolutions to previously overlooked annoyances in the shopping experience. Think of bed-in-a-box companies: while the products themselves may purport to be expertly developed, the real appeal is how easy the buying process is. Because purchasing a mattress has historically been confusing, the consumer is willing to sacrifice choice for simplification. While this may be appealing to some people, it’s not the only solution. Today’s shoppers are also more accustomed to getting personalized recommendations from brands they rely on. From Spotify’s suggested playlists to Amazon’s “related products,” consumers have grown to not only appreciate but expect these curated suggestions. And they are willing to offer up important data in order to receive them. If monitoring your customers’ every move feels like too big of an endeavor, there are easier ways to offer them data-driven recommendations. From Kingsdown’s bedMATCH mattress diagnostic system to Protect-A-Bed’s SleepTailor pillow selector, there are readily available tools that can be integrated into your existing business model. Powered by exclusive technology and backed by sleep science research, these systems make it easy to deliver accurate, personalized recommendations in real-time. Not only does this simplify the shopping process, it boosts sales, increases post-purchase satisfaction and minimizes the likelihood of comfort returns. As artificial intelligence technology becomes more popular in the year ahead, the ability to provide a higher level of personalized support will be imperative to mattress retail success.

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