…and put pressure on core availability at point of purchase
Now that we’re coming to not just the end of the year, but the end of the decade, it’s time to look back on the events that have affected the retail community over the past ten years. With the internet of things and smart technology helping to run our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget that the way we shop now is actually quite different to the way we shopped back in the 2000s and there are plenty of things that have occurred in the past decade that have had to make retailers, brands and even award-winning field marketing agencies like ourselves think fast and adapt.
Here are a few retail trends of the 2010s that have changed the way we shop and sell today:
Think back 10 years ago, and you will be certain that you were definitely buying clothing, gifts and food online. And this is absolutely true; it’s not like online shopping wasn’t around 10 years ago, but over the past decade, online shopping has increased by 200%, to the extent that buying anything online from our big shop to our bits is second nature.
Such interaction with customers is now the norm; Tim Warner of PepsiCo has said on the subject: ‘In many industries, many organisations, there’s a growing realisation that consumer-centricity is arguably the most important source of competitive advantage.’
This topic has been covered many times since the decision was made back in 2016 that the UK should leave the EU, and we still, almost four years later, don’t really know how Brexit will affect the retail industry in the years to come. According to sources, 30% of British food comes from the EU, and there continues to be a level of uncertainty over what deal we’ll get from the EU and what this might mean for food imports. With claims that this uncertainty has caused many customers to switch to German discounters Aldi and Lidl for their groceries, one thing is for sure: aligning yourselves with an agile and adaptable field marketing agency now is essential so you can work out flexible strategies to face this uncertain future and ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck for crossing the threshold of a retail outlet.
We are still feeling the economic impacts of the financial crisis back in 2008 that caused a global downturn. 13 years on, the economy is still weak, and it’s one of the biggest reasons for the closure of many high street stores even today. Staff cuts are another knock-on effect of a ‘busted’ economy, and supermarkets are no exception, many of whom have let go of thousands of employees across the country in the past 10 years. These measures to save money mean there are fewer staff on the floor to ensure stock is in store, shelves are fully merchandised and promotional lines prioritised. Many FMCG brands have found field marketing an extremely valuable tool to combat the negative effects of store cutbacks. Some would argue that support at point of purchase in the multiple grocers is now essential, simply to ensure the basics of availability & compliance.
While self-service is now a norm in most supermarkets, no matter how big or small, back in 2010 they were a novelty reserved only for larger retailers. The knock-on effect of these has been interesting for brands. While giving consumers more autonomy over their purchases has been beneficial for reducing queues and ultimately increasing efficiency, and therefore sales, supermarkets have also seen a steady rise in shoplifting, with self-service checkouts being blamed for a large portion of the thefts. According to the Retail Gazette, goods stolen from supermarket self-service checkouts amount to as much as £3.2 billion every year.
There are many things that can be done to track supermarket theft, and employing an outsourced field marketing agency like Logobrand is one of them. It’s important to keep an eye on stock inventory and action stock correction at store level to ensure availability & maximise sales.
Many brands will have been hit hard by the soft drinks industry levy which took effect in 2018. The levy meant that a tax was applied to soft drinks which contain added sugar and have a total sugar content above certain thresholds. With 18p per litre added to drinks that have 5g of sugar or more per 100ml and 24p per litre if the drink has 8g of sugar or more per 100ml, the tax meant that soft drinks makers like Britvic had to be more careful with their ingredients and begin offering low-sugar alternatives. This in turn lead to more competition for shelf space, which meant that those brands with a field marketing team on their side could ensure shelves and warehouses were well stocked, and that sales results were being recorded, analysed and reported back.
Though this seems like a niche subject for many brands, more people than ever are looking to cut down on their meat consumption. From full-on veganism to flexitarianism, meat and animal byproduct-free products are flying off the shelves, and even products that are ‘accidentally vegan’ like Oreos or Fox’s Biscuits’ Party Rings are finding themselves favoured by the meat-free market. The message: providing animal-free products might just improve your sales!
War on plastic
The past decade has seen shoppers paying for each plastic bag they use, and many consumers are now choosing to go without. According to government findings, “sales of single-use bags by all large retailers in 2018/2019 slumped by 37%”. Supermarkets like Morrisons have begun to respond to the plastic crisis with plans to open designated packaging-free areas in stores. The effect for brands in the future, could mean than openly plastic-free or environmentally-conscious packaging will be favoured.
The past 10 years have been somewhat turbulent – but your field marketing plan needn’t be! For a bright future and success in the decade ahead align yourself with an award-winning field marketing agency that has thrived in this tempestuous market for 30 years, and helped their clients smash their ROI targets with measurable results over and over like Logobrand!
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Have we missed anything off our list? What do you think of our top 8 retail trends? Drop us a message and let us know!