21 biggest retail trends to look out for in 2019

CB Insights, a strategic intelligence firm, gathered up the biggest trends in retail and analyzed where they stand as the year gets underway. The resulting matrix, based on what CB Insights calls its NExTT framework, offers a picture of the changes set to have a high impact in the near term, and the ideas that are likely to become increasingly important in the future. On one axis is how widely adopted the trend is, taking into account factors such as the momentum of startups in the space. On the other is the trend’s “market strength,” determined by the quality and number of investors behind it, investments in R&D, forecasts of its market size, and other indicators.

From that data, CB Insights grouped the trends into four different categories:

  • Experimental: Trends that are in their early stages or have proofs of concept, but that haven’t produced many useful products or aren’t widely adopted in the marketplace yet.
  • Transitory: Ideas that retailers have been rolling out, but where there’s still a lot of uncertainly about their value and how retailers can best use them.
  • Threatening: These have a large potential market and investment capital flowing into them, but only the earliest adopters have so far put them into practice.
  • Necessary: The stuff with a clear, understandable value that lots of retailers have already put into place and shoppers are actively using. At this point, companies should already have plans for how to make use of these in 2019.

The dot colors in the chart refer to what part of the retail industry the trend affects. Blue is product, purple is merchandising, and orange is supply chain and distribution.

Why It’s Hot:

As we kickoff this year and provide recommendations to help our clients innovate and meet customer needs – we must consider where the market is heading, and where trends lie in terms of adoption.

Choose Your Own Adventure Comes to Netflix’s Black Mirror

While everyone spent their Holiday breaks blindfolding themselves after watching “Bird Box” on Netflix against the advice of the streaming service, Netflix also rolled out an interactive standalone Black Mirror movie on Dec. 28.  The interactive movie allows viewers to choose the ending.

Image result for bandersnatch

Via NY Times:

“Black Mirror,” the speculative fiction series that encouraged people to be wary of new technology, is now hoping they will embrace it. The Netflix show released just one episode on Friday, a narrative titled “Bandersnatch” during which the viewer decides what will happen next.

It begins like this: Should the teenage video game whiz Stefan have Sugar Puffs or Frosties for breakfast? Soon the choices become more consequential. Will Stefan work at a game company, tell his therapist about his mother, take his meds? As so often on “Black Mirror,” reality is up for grabs.

Viewers are voting on more than who lives and dies on one program. If the response to “Bandersnatch” is enthusiastic, Netflix will take it as a strong signal that the public is ready for interactive movies and television shows, and a new age of storytelling will commence.

Not that the company needs much encouragement. It has already developed software to help organize stories that have endless permutations. It has perfected, or so it hopes, the technical ability to present these tales on multiple platforms around the world simultaneously. And it is calling for producers to submit interactive proposals in genres from horror to romantic comedy while hinting that it already has a few new shows in the works.

The idea behind the interactive push is simple: Viewers will care more if they are complicit.

“If bad things happen, you’ll feel even more crestfallen, because you were responsible,” said Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president for product. “If the character is victorious, you’ll feel even more uplifted because you made that choice.”

Source: NY Times, Read More Here.

Why It’s Hot: As more and more streaming services vie for the same pieces of the pie, services like Netflix and Hulu are constantly looking for ways to be the next most talked about show.  If “Black Mirror Bandersnatch” does well, interactive long form content may be the next big thing for entertainment, much like what “Avatar” did for 3D, and what Pokemon Go did for AR.

Stay Tuned.  The Future is Bright.