From my perspective, reducing their physical footprint is a challenge many retailers are facing in the New Year. As more and more retailers integrate digital in-store, their need for a larger physical footprint decreases. How this adjustment can and will be made is a struggle for many retailers. This is less of a challenge for indie retailers, who tend to have a more modest physical footprint and fewer locations.
Brick and mortar retailers should focus on increasing their channels through disruptive retail solutions, such as mobile retail, additional destination solutions or altered realities such as augmented, mixed and virtual experiences. One of the big trends I see emerging for retailers is Enhanced Assistance with altered realities improving the in-store shopper experience through apps that provide convenience in product selection and pricing, digital assets to view how products will look in specific locations, how clothes will fit, and even transport the shopper to a virtual location so they can better understand their purchase decisions.
The biggest advantage an indie retailer can gain in 2018 is to expand their marketing channels through disruptive retail solutions that bridge online-to-offline retailing. From a digital trunk show to a pop-up store, to a retail drone for a special marketing event, to an augmented reality app that gives their brand a digital advantage, disruptive retail is the future for indies.