Retail: four trends to transform the sector in 2023

The retail ecosystem is undergoing a metamorphosis. Since the pandemic, retailers have had to adapt their strategies to new consumer habits. If digital is still and always at the center of these behaviors, it is changing: the demand for a customer experience calibrated to their desires, the pervasive presence of video, the desire for quality and refocused advertising targeting, but also the importance of receiving considering environmental issues.

As a retailer, how can you position yourself to best meet your customers’ expectations and approach these new consumption patterns with ease? Meta, the world’s leading social network group and the preferred partner of companies in the digitalization of their activities, supports distributors in meeting their challenges of today and tomorrow. Alongside Guillaume Cavaroc, business director of retail and e-commerce at Meta France, discover the four main trends that are already changing retail in 2023.

From the car to the store, but no flyers

Despite the rise of e-commerce, generating in-store traffic is still just as important for retailers. On the customer side, the desire to go to the store is also present: 93% of the French continue to favor the physical store over e-commerce for their daily purchases, according to the barometer. Samsung Smart Retail.

Therefore, a strong challenge, but mainly involving the use of paper prospectuses for distributors. Letterbox advertisements or flyers of all kinds are today “the first vector of commercial communication and driving to the store”, explains Guillaume Cavaroc. “But for ecological, economic reasons or even with initiatives like ‘yes ad‘, the prospectus is destined to disappear”, he continues.

In 2023 and beyond, the promotional offer will continue and accelerate its digitization. An important paradigm shift for retailers that consumers are ready to embrace: 74% of French people would be ready to consult leaflets online if they were no longer delivered to mailboxes, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos for Meta in 2021. The digital alternative – already pushed by big names in distribution such as Leclerc, which announced the end of paper brochures in 2023, or Carrefour – will now go through different routes: subscription to newspapers, use of the QR code in the store to was held. up to date with news from the brand or using social networks such as Facebook and Instagram.

Messaging apps to bring products to customers

The table would not be complete without mentioning the use of messaging applications such as Messenger and Whatsapp, which unite tens of millions of French people. Real discussion channels between professionals and consumers allow the latter to subscribe to receive targeted commercial news from their traders – according to their wishes and choices.

“Carrefour launched a WhatsApp shopping experience a few weeks ago. There is a selection of 100 products in four different categories within the app itself. Simply select the desired products and a cart is created. When the customer has completed his selection, all he has to do is click on a link that redirects to the payment page,” explains Meta France’s business director. Thanks to messaging apps, retailers are tapping into a logic of conversational commerce that’s still in its infancy: it’s products coming to customers. The next step: integrating payments within the apps themselves.

Online Brand Building Through Video Effective Continuity

This also includes the development of online brand building, which, in line with previous years, will be strongly influenced by video. “The brand building that is done today goes through video which is becoming the key format, especially Instagram Reels which are exploding at the moment”, explains Guillaume Cavaroc.

Short videos, stories, on-air or Reels are all formats that will have to continue to develop in 2023 to anchor its brand image online and, above all, in social networks. What about live shopping, which had experienced a real explosion thanks to the pandemic? “There was significant success that fell, but in a healthy way. Many advertisers continue to use live shopping, but in a well-organized way or for specific events. (…) And it works, whether through the live format on Facebook or Instagram or to generate traffic to live streams hosted on retailer sites. It is not a fading trend, on the contrary, it is a trend that lasts and improves over time”, he continues.

The prospect of a retail anchored in the metaverse

In terms of technological revolutions, we can wonder if virtual reality, augmented reality or the metaverse will be the trends to follow for retailers in 2023. Yes, answers Guillaume Cavaroc, because it is a technological ecosystem that at the end of the latter will make it possible to enrich experiences. “We are at the dawn of a very strong technological transformation. This is the third chapter of the Internet, which becomes immersive. But obviously this revolution will take time and if the first bricks are being built, there are still many things to do and improve,” he explains.

The interest of the metaverse for retail is that it will provide customers with an enhanced experience that traditional e-commerce does not offer. Augmented experiences in virtual reality, in particular, where you can interact with a community in real time. Demand for virtual reality shopping is also on the rise, with 69% of shoppers surveyed in a Meta survey stating that they want a brand to be present in the virtual world. This is especially true for young people, as 70% of Gen Z or millennial shoppers have purchased a digital item in a video game.

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