7 retail trends – a 2018 forecast by the South African Council for Shopping Centres

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Scan Retail spoke to Amanda Stops, the CEO of the South African Council for Shopping Centres (SACSC), to find out what retail trends we can expect to see emerging in the SA market this year. These are the 7 trends she identified:

  1. Customisation

“We’re expecting to see more customisation, which means giving the customer the opportunity to design his/her own product,” says Amanda. “For example, this could be a denim store allowing you to customise your new pair of jeans in-store, or a restaurant where you can create your own pizza or salad.”

Converse and Nike offer online custom shoe design, while the local franchise Andiccio 24 doesn’t have a set menu but lets you build your own pizza, from choosing the type of base to any mix of toppings (savoury or sweet).

Letting customers take control of their purchase in this manner means they can get exactly what they want, so it’s clear why it’s a trend that is expected to grow.

  1. Localisation

A tendency that we are only too happy to see is localisation. “Localisation has become a global movement where shoppers support brands and products from their community/country,” says Amanda.

This means rather than lusting after imported brands, consumers will be seeking out products that are proudly home grown, from local designers, artisans and companies. Think Proudly South African, and also how chic indigenous succulents and African beadwork has become recently.

A positive spin off of this trend is that it stimulates the local economy and encourages job creation. It’s also an eco-conscious trend, as it reduces the need to import goods over long distances and the associated carbon footprint.

Related post: The Biggest Challenge In Mall Retailing, And How You Can Fix It

  1. Experimental retailing

Experimental retailing is the third trend Amanda cites as making a headway into the South African retail space. She explains, “Experimental retailing is when retailers and restaurateurs try something new. They step outside the norm to test the reactions of their customers.”

Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages throughout their waking life, which has made them very good at ignoring most of them. This is why unusual, out-of-the-box ideas are your best chance to really get people to notice – and remember – your brand.

  1. Technology intervention

Trend #4 is unlikely to surprise you, given the rampant innovation we’re currently seeing in technology.

“Increasingly, retailers will be using technology to make simple things easier, such as paying for items,” says Amanda.

One example we’ve seen of this in South Africa (and internationally) is the growing availability of the ‘tap and go’ or contactless payment system. This enables customers to simply tap their activated bank card against a pay point to make a payment, without needing to insert or swipe the card, or even put in their PIN number.

Chat bots for customer service, artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend purchases according to taste profiles, virtual reality (VR) to explore products before you buy them – these are just a few of the other possible ways that technology can streamline and simplify the retail process.

  1. Social media

Amanda predicts that retailers will be increasingly utilising social media to connect with their consumers – “But expect brands to be using more than just Facebook,” she adds.

Instagram is leading the charge, with its new Instagram Shopping feature which allows users to purchase a product they see in a photo with a simple click-through button. And with 80% of its users following a brand, this seems like a promising new e-commerce avenue.

However social media can also be used to encourage brand engagement, deal with customer queries timeously (again, think chat bots), and for ‘social listening’ – tracking what customers are saying about your brand, to get a better sense of their sentiment towards it and therefore how to improve or leverage it.

  1. Experiential retail

“Experiential” has been a marketing buzzword of late, and it’s not going anywhere just yet. Amanda says, “Consumers are becoming more aware of how they are treated in stores and restaurants.” This means customer service is becoming increasingly critical to attract and retain your market share.

Given the convenience of online shopping, bricks and mortar retailers need to have an incentive to bring buyers into the store. This means giving them a positive experience which will keep them coming back.

  1. Lifestyle and wellness

“Consumers are fast becoming more aware of their well being and health,” says Amanda. “2018 will see a lot more emphasis on healthy living. Retail needs to take this into consideration.”

Saks Fifth Avenue opened a health, beauty and fitness space in its New York flagship store last year, called the Wellery. It has a salt room spa (one of only a few in the city), and houses 20 individual retailers offering a range of goods and services like luxury workout gear, fitness classes, and health and beauty treatments like facials and makeovers. The 20 retailers are on rotation, so customers will get to try something new every few months.

Need some help?

Have you been inspired with some ideas for your retail marketing in 2018? We hope so!

To find out more South African Council for Shopping Centres and how they can help your retail business, visit www.sacsc.co.za

If you need assistance with your in-store marketing displays, contact us. Scan Retail is a leading South African retail display specialist and proud member of SACSC.

Pop-Up Retail Shops: Where Will They be In a Year’s Time?

The golden question on the lips of just about every retailer today: “where are pop-up retail shops going?” Far from going the way of your local Blockbuster, it’s no secret that the retail industry has taken quite a knock over the past decade. Brick-and-mortar is definitely on the decline, driving many retailers into a panic.


While a good part of the problem lies with consumers who are completely bored to death of their options and surrounds, the other part lies with the overwhelming domination of e-commerce shopping. It seems as if growing numbers of online shoppers are sending retailers and everything in between into liquidation. Things are so bad that while many would argue that brick-and-mortar is dead, at Scan Retail, we’re a little more optimistic, and would argue that retail isn’t dead, it’s just evolving.


Here’s how it all changed…

Imagine throwing yourself into a 10-year lease with an astronomical rental? Well, this is exactly what many retailers have had to do over the past few decades. Now, it’s not that these stores don’t have a future — it’s just that they are operating old-school. They are essentially outdated and in dire need of a marketing change. If you want your business to thrive and survive in today’s overcrowded cut-throat marketplace, then you need to ensure your brand meets the needs of today’s consumer. Less about transactions and more about the consumer relationship, retail has become more customer-focused than ever before. Today, retail is all about giving consumers the ‘WOW’ factor and getting them to return.


While e-commerce might be a huge part of the future of retail, shopping kiosks are shaking up the retail world, in a radical way. Once considered a low-key tactic to sell products and meet new customers, pop-up retail shops have exploded into a huge money spinner; in fact, Popup Republic values the pop-up industry at $50 billion. In South Africa, it’s no different, ever noticed a shopping kiosk selling beautiful denim jackets at a market, you turn your back for an hour or two and race back to find them all gone? Yes, that is the power of pop-up shops. Keep reading to learn how a pop-up shopping kiosk can benefit your brand and triple your sales.


Cost effective with low overheads

A hybrid genius for both, new and old businesses looking to ease their way into a new niche while minimising potential losses, pop-up retail shops have revolutionized the typical retail shopping experience. Shopping kiosks have contributed to one of the hottest trends in retailing–temporary tenants.  In fact, according to StoreFront, launching a pop up shop is approximately 80% less expensive compared to opening up a traditional shop! Now who would want to sign a long balance-breaking lease when something short-term can generate so much buzz and revenue, especially in this economy?


Pop-ups bridge the gap for start-ups by providing them with a low-risk chance to have a physical store without the long-term obligations, opening the door for thousands of small brands, both seasonal and permanent. Shopping kiosks allow emerging brands to experiment with retail and create an immersive experience without signing up for a ton of overhead. Now if you ask us, this is the future of retail.


The perfect avenue for online stores to make seasonal appearances

A retail kiosk is a shop front display that has grown beyond fashion, food, makeup, books, and art. A retail force, bridging the online and offline gap, pop-up shops are the perfect avenue to both, enable hundreds of seasonal small businesses to get off the ground and allow for online stores to connect with their clients from time to time. A good example would be a Christmas pop up shop, a summer bikini pop up shop, a sunglass pop up shop, or a gourmet chocolate or t-shirt pop up shop which could even reopen on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and then close for the remainder of the year. In fact, business ideas are endless. If you have the right pop up model, you can pretty much sell anything.


A master selling tool that works as a three-dimensional billboard

Requiring less commitment than a permanent shop or a new and expensive website, pop-up shops have huge potential to generate the type of attention required to create the offline to online sales conversion. A master selling tool that works as a three-dimensional billboard that can physically engage potential customers, pop-up retail shops can be designed and developed in a variety of shapes and sizes that cater to the demographic you’re seeking to market. While a pop up can be found as a store-within-a-store or as a standalone shopping kiosk, it is worth mentioning that niche models do very well as they can also be used to test out new product lines in large brick-and-mortar stores


Shopping kiosks are the future of retail

The gap between the online and offline world is declining and retail is desperately trying to keep pace with the way retail is evolving. While we certainly can’t predict where retail is heading, we do know where pop-ups will be in one year from now, and that’s all over the globe.


A proven business model for retailers looking to market their brand or introduce new products, and where small start-ups will see value, no matter what size or shape pop-up you choose – in an increasingly e-commerce-centric world – the future of pop up retail is just getting started. With today’s customer approaching the buying process with more options at their fingertips, pop-ups aren’t just about selling. Today’s customers want experiences, not things, and pop-ups are all about creating a memorable, exclusive, and photogenic experience, which lends a “cool” factor to a brand.


To reap the many advantages of all the ways pop-up retail shops can open doors for your small, large, new or old business,  download our brochure and contact us for a free consultation.

Is guerrilla marketing worth trying in your retail strategy?

In a volatile economic climate, where up to 80% of small businesses fail each year according to Moneyweb, companies need a lot more than just a fantastic product, service and online presence to compete with bigger brands and stay alive. They need to think outside of the box, and this is where guerrilla marketing hits the ball right out of the park.


When conventional strategies don’t deliver, you send in the guerrillas 


Conjuring up images of guerrilla warfare, the word “guerrilla” seems quite ominous and threatening. But, put it next to the word “marketing”, and you’ve got yourself an unusual form of marketing that implements killer strategies to defeat the enemy and get your brand noticed and remembered. In short, guerrilla marketing is all about implementing unique, interesting and creative marketing strategies that rely on time, energy and imagination, rather than a big marketing budget.


How to go, guerrilla


Because the primary goal behind guerrilla marketing is to take people by surprise, make a great impression, create social buzz and boost revenue, to go, guerrilla you need to be bold, be assertive and not be afraid to take risks. That’s right. If you want to move up the food chain and get your name out on the streets, you have to be fearless.


Thriving on original thinking and creativity, where imagination and ingenuity beat out big budgets, guerrilla marketing is all about taking a traditional marketing form that people are accustomed to and turning it on its head, and out-store and in-store poster stands are an excellent example of this.


Working best in urban spaces with prevalent foot traffic, or dense, slow-moving automobile traffic, by creating an unexpected, whimsical or beautiful change to an area with a captivating bespoke displays stands; you can effectively gain the attention and “own” the eyes of passers-by’s. But remember, for your guerrilla marketing campaign to be effective, it has to be humorous, shocking or mysterious. The more creative and unorthodox, the more compelling and memorable it will be!


The benefits


Crucial to the success of any business, especially new and smaller brands that can’t compete with bigger budgets, guerrilla marketing is a niche, risky, disruptive and mesmerising marketing strategy that has gained traction with organisations of all shapes and sizes.


A fun, innovative and exciting form of marketing for those who want to bootstrap their business without breaking the bank, not only is guerrilla marketing often inexpensive, but it can be far more memorable than traditional marketing. Last but not least, guerrilla marketing works. If you do your research, plan your campaign and stick with it, you will end up gaining the attention your brand deserves? – not sure great marketing = with a better and more profitable business.


So, where do you start?


If you’re a small business ready to go wild on your on your competition and grow your sales, then the team at Scan Retail can assist you. We bring brands to life. Allow us to help you stretch your imagination and save your business with our bespoke in-store and out-store retail displays and shopping kiosks stands.


Here’s a showcase of some amazing examples of guerilla marketing

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Patricia Cornwell

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2012 Movie Advertisement

2012 Movie Advertisement

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Go Back To Pompeii

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Alfa Romeo

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Nivea Bench

guerrilla marketing-example-scanretail


guerrilla marketing-example-scanretail

Nikon Guerilla Marketing Campaign

Image Credits: creativeguerrillamarketing

The EuroShop 2017 in-store marketing trends

Breathtaking and visionary, EuroShop 2017 showcased cutting-edge product developments, innovations and in-store marketing trends in the global retail world, and was once again an inspirational success.  Yes, when the biggest, most important event in the international retail world comes to Düsseldorf, the industry sits up and takes notice, and this year 2 368 exhibitors from 61 countries and 113 000 visitors from 138 countries did more than take notice – they gained a glimpse into the future of retail.

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Scan Team at EuroShop

We are only in the first quarter of 2017, and already our Scan Retail team has been super busy. Recently we attended EuroShop in Düsseldorf, Germany. Hailed as the world’s number one “Global Retail Trade Fair” for retail and exhibition spaces, EuroShop is the international exhibition platform where marketers go to grow. Here are some of the in-store marketing trends we discovered.


#1 Digital alterable signage


Until recently, retailers addressed customers at the shop window or point of sale primarily with eye-catching posters or displays. But in a smartphone world, retail has moved ahead at a fast pace. With customers were accustomed to looking to screens for information, the crossover between in-store design and digital display features has become even more prominent. It’s a natural choice for aiding content retention, spreading a message, building a brand, improving customer service and experience, and increasing profits. EuroShop 2017 showcased a powerful combination of motion effects and dynamic animated digital signage, paired with high quality printed images, which together created an exciting new sensory in-store experience.


Impressive Digital Signage


#2 Illumination for creative store design


Dynamic and intelligent, lighting can be a shop’s best friend. Thanks to the latest LED technology, lamps are nowadays capable of much more than simply lighting up an interior.LED lights are the perfect tools to design an appealing atmosphere that draws the customer’s eye. They can change moods, create ambience, modify lighting scenarios and enable precision product staging, all while offering enormous potential energy savings.What was quite evident at EuroShop 2017 was that spotlights are getting smaller, recessed down-lights are nearing the point of non-existence, and track systems are shrinking, all in the name of retail display lighting.

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Creative Illumination


#3 Fabric graphics, sustainable materials, and textural experiences


Dimensionality is a key theme for 2017. Yes, today’s retailers are making things bigger, as was clearly evident at EuroShop 2017; larger backlit fabric prints with high-resolution printing, impressive 3D elements, huge monolithic tiles (tiles inspired by a blend of stone and earthy qualities), and sleek surface materials in white, black and shades of neutrals, all created engaging, eye-catching displays.

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Sustainable Materials


Sustainable materials were also in the spotlight. Lightweight materials have become hugely popular, and offer not only crisp, vibrant images, but also the benefit of a minimal transport-related carbon footprint (and the associated cost reduction). And, proving that unexpected materials can take a product to another level, retailers and design agencies were utilising recycled, repurposed and reinvented materials and objects in new and innovative ways, showing that conscientious waste-free craft is valid in-store.


Another design trend that stuck out was textural experiences, witnessed in the choice of materials and their unexpected positioning alongside each other.


In order to hold their own against the online competition, there is considerable pressure on retailers to come up with new ideas. In a world of constant change, if retailers want to adjust and survive, they need to ensure their store meets the needs of today’s consumer. You see, with today’s customer approaching the buying process more knowledgeable than ever, and with more available options online at their fingertips, one thing has become apparent: the client determines in-store design.


Yes, today’s customers want experiences, not things. And if the shopping experience is not personal and bespoke, ‘the disconnected customer’ will swap their footfall for clicks. If you are looking for the right retail display to help you achieve this, speak to us. Specifically, our customised and off-the-shelf modern modular retail kiosks, paired with the latest developments in digitalisation and intelligent lighting, offer wide-ranging possibilities for your brand in-store marketing.


As a leader in the Southern African exhibition and display industry, specialising in bespoke modular retail kiosks, retail displays and event and exhibition infrastructure, our team can’t wait to incorporate some of these trends into our display architecture. To find out more about who we are and what we offer, contact us today.