If 2022 revealed anything, it’s that curated, highly personalised experiences continue to beat vanilla, ‘one-size-fits-all’ offerings. As brands recalibrate their consumer engagement strategies for the year ahead, Harry Hanson-Smith, Regional Vice President at Dynamic Yield by Mastercard, looks at five of the top retail trends for 2023:
- Flexibility will become more important as legacy platforms fail to deliver
There’s a huge uplift in demand for composable technology across brands and technology providers alike (with groups like the MACH Alliance being forged to spearhead this work) in an effort to offer an alternative to costly and rigid legacy systems that struggle to support modern shopping experiences.
We’ll see brands shift to a headless setup so they can more easily make changes to the front-end without affecting the back end, and vice versa. Moving away from the monolithic architecture that ties the front and back together will allow more flexibility and scalability as companies experiment with their personalisation efforts to build the best consumer experience.
- The Metaverse will move from interaction to transaction
Many retailers, especially luxury brands, are already dipping their toes into the metaverse – using NFTs to develop awareness, engagement, loyalty and more. As momentum builds, brands are looking at how they can transform their meta-store investment into an uplift in sales, and hyper-personalised experiences are the key. Taking shoppers from ‘play’ to ‘pay’ scenarios using tried and tested conversion boosters like guided selling will help unlock the future of retail.
- Live commerce and shoppable content will move up the marketing mix
Modern shoppers are spending more time-consuming video content that features products they often want to buy. Given the massive opportunity, more brands will lean into live commerce – making products purchasable within a streaming event – as it allows them to reach new markets, stoke mass demand and reach higher sales peaks much faster. The most successful companies will be those that layer personalisation into their live and streamed content to audiences, showcasing additional products of interest based on the viewer’s affinity, historical purchases, and other buying intent signals.
- Deeper exploration into the possibilities of generative AI
The technology of generative AI has opened up a world of possibilities, enabling brands to create and transform in ways never before imagined. It’s a powerful tool for exploration and innovation. Although generative models have been around for decades, 2022 was a breakthrough year, and there are now better models, more data, and more computing power to make this technology accessible to everyone at scale. Generative AI is poised to play a central role in consumers’ lives and will transform some of the paradigms they’re come accustomed to.
- Zero party data will get a high-tech makeover
Data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a company (zero-data) is some of the richest data available. And while quizzes and product selection tools have become standard fare for gathering these in-the-moment inputs on an individual level, advanced AI and machine learning will allow brands to use the newly acquired data with less friction and greater accuracy, making it a gold mine for those looking to differentiate, nurture relationships more quickly, and drive sales.
Turning trends into action
Though 2023 is already upon us, it’s not too late for retailers to embed hyper-personalisation into this year’s strategy – modern cloud-based personalisation platforms can do most of the heavy lifting to help brands act with minimal effort. And without any complex coding involved, intuitive and effective personalisation can easily take centre stage in a smart strategy.