As a Retailer, Recognize key Trends for your business

Trends in fashion

What is the one word that describes “change” effectively, positively and instantly?

There could be many answers to this question. Our answer though, is grounded in the tangible.

Trend!

Each trend is a precursor to change. Or the change itself!

To extrapolate, there was a time when women were expected, and therefore, portrayed as doing household chores everywhere- in ads, films, etc. But then Julia Child appeared on TV wearing pearls and cooking Boeuf Bourguinon. Et Voila, a trend was created- which changed the way women viewed themselves.


julia


Or that time when people had long standing careers in law or as a professor, and they never seemed to veer out of that cycle. And suddenly we had Steve Jobs with his completely different set of beliefs or Bill Gates, who changed the way the world operates with their ideas. Another trend that is still inspiring people.


bill


In a world where communication is instant, trends though, have become fleeting. Trends change with the speed of a hyper aware fashionista who changes dresses 3 times a day at least. And people are engaging themselves, without motivation, with trends. Online and concurrently offline, trends manifest in tweets, shares, likes, mentions, pins, actions, decisions, ideas, industry.

At IntelligenceNODE, being a bid data analytics organization specializing in retail, we pay special attention to trends. And we have come across a simple yet important question from retailers when it comes to trends today- how do you quantify a trend that is likely to change in the next (approximately) 60 minutes? And how do you further capitalize on such a trend?

We have had the privilege of associating with many etailers; learning their opinions, ideas and insights have given us the opportunity to study trends.

Putting this into perspective, let us look at one of the quickest “trend amplifiers” in the cloud sphere today- Twitter. You may have seen the various hashtags on twitter that certify trends.


 

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In the graph, circa 2013, 33% respondents paid attention to trending topics on twitter. Twitter has more than 302 million active users, monthly. And 500 million tweets are sent out every day. Out of this overall user base, 30% is in the USA alone. Look again- 33% of those users, in 2013, were influenced by trending topics.

Let us not forget that these trends are in real time or life, if you will. Tweeple all over the world tweet about a particular event, happenstance, etc. And we go on from there…

And twitter is not the only thing that inspires this “trending” psychology in netizens! Apart from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. apps like Snapchat, Pinterest, etc, are cropping up daily. Be it AirB&B, or TripAdvisor, Fitbay or Shoefitr, everyone wants a part of this trending pie.

There is one cardinal rule about trends- Trends create trends.

Now back to the famous questions:

How do you, the retailer, recognize key trends in a boundary blurring world like ours?

The journey from an idea to a trend is marked by various stages.

  • Ideation or Product creation; which involves a whole industry in and of itself.
  • Exhibiting the product: showing the great points of the product, and the product itself, through events.
  • Content Generation: when people other than the creators of the product create stories, utility ideas or opinions about the product and share it- online & offline.
  • Trendification: The product becomes a part of popular culture- translation- TREND.

And this journey is visible only to a few. Others can see just parts of it. The best way to see how tangible a trend is- numbers and effects. There are many tools to measure the effect that social media has on trends and trend creation. Names like KissMetrics, Social Bakers, offer reports and services of this nature.

There is another way, though, to arrive at a decision regarding which so called trends you should follow as a retailer. A holistic view that allows you to get an analysis of the digital atmosphere as well as the strategies and trends of your competitors. You can benchmark pricing, discount, catalogs as well as logistics.

There is another way, though, to arrive at a decision regarding which so called trends you should follow as a retailer. A holistic view that allows you to get an analysis of the digital atmosphere as well as the strategies and trends of your competitors. You can benchmark pricing, discount, catalogs as well as logistics.

The secret blend that gives you such results = your inventory data+ your social plug-in data+ curated data (from various sources) + a little brilliant analysis.

That’ it!

Recognizing the key trends that you MUST take away, add to or innovate with, happen to be right at your fingertips. We know you can just reach out and take it!

And finally, how do you, the retailer, capitalize on these famous trends, when they are so fleeting?

To answer this question, we have an interesting story for you. We call it the Code of Content.

In this story, a European car manufacturer wanted to sell a new, different and smaller car in the USA. They contracted a successful ad agency to do the honors. The end result, according to this car manufacturer, they said, had to be twofold: they wanted profits and to be recognized. To rephrase that in today’s business lingo- they wanted ROI & brand recall. Their consumer surveys in the USA showed them that people were not very enthusiastic about their new car.

The advertiser sent a couple of designers to the factory in Europe. Once they came back armed with knowledge and information, they created this:


BMW_Lemon2


The car manufacturer: Volkswagen; The Advertiser: David Ogilvy.

As you can see, it is not trends you “capitalize” on. Trends capitalize on you! You have immense power- to influence people- with brilliant strategy; amazing content and great deals. People want what you are offering. Isn’t that why you are in business?

It follows therefore, that when people are actively creating trends, they are hoping, expecting even, that you the retailers and service providers will give them well made products to support their pins, tweets, shares, likes, etc.

You can make brilliant strategies from the insights that have been derived through all that data. Fringe has become a trend at LFW? Who makes the trend global in less than a week, then? You the retailer! And we support you every step of the way!