A perspective on key retail trends for 2025

Article tagged with: Strategy

It’s rare to get a definitive insight into the plans, habits, tastes and turnoffs of shoppers at scale, which is why the RIS ninth annual study of 5000 shoppers is a must-read for retailers keen for today’s data and what it might mean for tomorrow’s trends in retail.

The Retail 2025 Shopper Study translates the collective wisdom of 5000 shoppers into sharp insights and singles out seven key trends, on everything from the prospects for retailers’ own mobile apps (poor, unless those apps are utterly transformed) to the outlook for voice-enabled search (growing fast, but held back by shopper concerns about eavesdropping by home assistants like Alexa).

Of the seven key trends pinpointed by Joe Skorupa, Editorial Director of RIS News, the three that especially caught our eye include:

1 – Today’s brick-and-mortar experience is dead. 

With 24% of shoppers admitting they go to stores less today than they did five years ago and the vast majority (66%) saying they search for what they want on Amazon, it’s obvious that retail stores will need to make some big, bold changes in order to survive. That includes giving shoppers immersive, satisfying in-store experiences. This might include changes at the till, and no till – 59% of respondents use said they prefer “grab-and-go” stores that let them pay directly from their own phones – but it may also include interactive, shoppable screens. Skorupa argues that shoppers are expecting stores “to be reinvented” in 2025, and the signs are that retailers offering the most seamless engagement with customers in store will come out on top.

2 – Consumers will agree to share their “shopper profiles”

The study’s data reveals that shoppers are overwhelmingly open to receiving personalized offers and promotions, and they’re willing to share data about their preferences in order to receive those. There was good news here for food retailers: topping the list of the personal information types shoppers are willing to reveal include food favorites (60%) followed by drink favorites (59%), even extending to personal information about allergies (41%) and diet restrictions (39%). The big win will be when this rich data can be matched with technology to identify shoppers in real time as they enter stores; retailers who get it together to exploit both these technologies will acquire the all-important ability to send relevant messages to individual shoppers, and do so at scale.

3 – Shoppers will agree to be identified, but not Minority-Report style

Remember the digital signs that continuously called out to Tom Cruise as he walked past them in Minority Report? Research shows customers find the concept an utter turn off, but perhaps surprisingly, they’re open to being personally identified and contacted in a shop, if it’ll save the money. Respondents overwhelmingly say they are open to receiving real time reminders in-store to redeem an offer (65%) or to take advantage of a promotion running right now in the store where they’re standing (59%). 

The picture that coming together of retail in 2025 is one of contrasts, with shoppers still guarded about technologies they find intrusive or creepy, but willing to share data in order to secure a bargain.

The picture that coming together of retail in 2025 is one of contrasts, with shoppers still guarded about technologies they find intrusive or creepy, but willing to share data and even be individually identified in store in order to secure a bargain. At every turn, retailers must communicate with shoppers and ensure fully informed buy-in to any initiatives: as the trends report emphasizes, retailers seeking to modernize in order to guarantee their own survival can’t sacrifice shopper trust. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Seek out and read the whole trends report here, available free on registration with RIS News. 



RIS News. (2018). Retail 2025 Shopper Study: The Future of Retail Is Already Here. [online]

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