3 Retail Trends You Should Care About in 2023

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    The world of retail is always changing, and 2023 is no exception. With the expansion of buy now pay later providers, the rise of omnichannel retailing, and the increasing popularity of digital wallets, retailers have some exciting new opportunities to explore. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these top retail trends and discuss how they can benefit your business.  

    Whether you’re a small independent retailer or a large multinational corporation, understanding these trends is key to staying ahead of the competition and providing the best possible shopping experience for your customers. So let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of retail in 2023! 

    1. More buy now pay later (BNPL) providers

    Woman online shopping using her phone, holding a credit card

    The world of shopping has been revolutionised by the emergence of ‘buy now pay later’ providers, allowing people to purchase goods and services with greater ease. This industry is now valued at a staggering $248 billion (£204 billion) worldwide and shows no signs of slowing down.  

    While Klarna, one of the major BNPL providers, suffered a significant setback in 2022, the industry as a whole is expected to grow in the coming years. In fact, big companies like Apple, Natwest, and Virgin Money have entered the market, signalling a positive outlook for expansion in this sector.  

    But for these larger players, profitability may not be the sole focus. Instead, they may be looking to leverage BNPL as a means of enhancing their overall business offerings. By providing another seamless service to their customers, they can deepen relationships and create new co-marketing opportunities.  

    It’s estimated that BNPL will account for nearly a quarter of eCommerce payments by 2026 and will be worth $1 trillion (£823 billion) by 2030.  

    As the global recession grips customers, it’s no surprise that BNPL is a popular choice for many as flexible payment options with low to no interest help with rising costs.   

    Almost half of Gen Z are expected to use BNPL by 2025

     What does this mean for your business?  

    Partnering with these platforms both in-store and online could expand your customer base and attract those looking to spread payments without using a credit card and risk falling victim to debit card fraud. With the sector expected to continue to grow across all generations, it could be an area to take advantage of earlier rather than later, especially if you’re looking to generate new customers during the cost-of-living crisis.    

    2. Digital wallets & mobile payments are here to stay   

    SME digitalisation mobile payments

    In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key, and it’s no surprise that Gen Z and Millennials are leading the charge when it comes to mobile payment trends.  

    Although only 5% of UK businesses still accept cash, the rise of mobile payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay are predicted to make up 30% of all point-of-sale payments this year alone. 

    By 2025, it’s projected that nearly a quarter of the UK population will be using mobile proximity payments. The appeal of mobile payments and digital wallets is obvious. They offer customers an easy, seamless way to pay for goods and services, without the hassle of carrying around physical cash or cards.  

    But that’s not all – digital wallets also provide an array of additional benefits, including the ability to store loyalty cards and promotions right on a phone. Customers can easily earn points and take advantage of deals with just a simple tap, without ever having to worry about leaving their cards at home. 

    share of consumers making payments with digital or mobile wallets int he UK in 2020, by age group

    What does this mean for your business?   

    If you’re already offering contactless payment then you are likely already set up for mobile payments. However, you might need to update your POS system and the hardware to support NFC along with making sure you have a strong enough internet connection to successfully accept mobile payments.   

    As convenience drives more customers to use mobile payments it’s important you promote the availability of it in your store to make it as simple as possible.    

    Lastly, if you’re looking to get involved in launching a loyalty programme that’s available in the digital wallet, you’ll need to make sure you choose the right provider and look at the costs involved carefully. Some will be extremely cost-effective but offer limited features, whereas others might offer more features than you would use for a much higher cost.   

    3. Offline and online experiences become omnichannel   

    predict customers next move

    Once seen as two opposing worlds, offline and online can now work together to provide your customers with a seamless experience.  

    Click and Collect has been around for a long time, but for 2023 it’s all about creating an omnichannel experience. This allows customers to enjoy individual touchpoints over a variety of channels that seamlessly connect. With omnichannel, customers can pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience on another.  

    This approach enables customers to engage with brands through multiple channels, providing them with a cohesive experience that feels personalised and effortless. With an omnichannel approach, customers can easily pick up where they left off on one channel and continue their journey on another.  

    What does this mean for your business?  

    Technology is key to creating a successful omnichannel experience. You can launch low-cost initiatives that can help build an omnichannel strategy to successfully combine your online and offline stores. Below are some examples:  

    Make product and business reviews available in-store   

    95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase, and this statistic isn’t just restricted to online sales or appointments. If you’ve collected customer reviews it’s time to make use of them in-store. A simple way to do this is by advertising QR codes next to products inviting customers to read reviews. If you don’t have product-specific reviews linking to your general reviews page is also a great way to validate your business to in-store customers.  

    Push promotions via online channels to drive in-store traffic & vice versa   

    Many large businesses use their online channels to push in-store promotions, but recently they’ve also been doing it the other way around and seeing success. Depending on your traffic and goals you may want to: 

    • Offer an online discount to anyone who signs up for a mailing list in-store. You can then use the information gathered from the sign-up to personalise your online targeting.   
    • If your store is closed on a specific day then displaying a bespoke online discount code in your shop window could help drive any lost foot traffic online.   
    • If you have a loyalty scheme, offer extra points for in-store purchases or bookings, or if you’re looking to increase online sales then flip it around. You could also allow customers to get more for their points either in-store or online.  

    Be part of the continuous evolution of retailers 

    Overall, the retail industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and it’s up to businesses to keep up with the latest trends and embrace new technologies in order to stay relevant and meet the changing needs of customers. By embracing these trends and implementing the right strategies, retailers can unlock new opportunities for growth and success in the years to come.