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Wherever there are consumers, you will find retail. As one of our country's largest employers, retail is woven into the fabric of our society. The sector is moving fast. Change is needed due the growing importance of online shopping, technological developments and ever-increasing customer demands. What are these changes? And what can retail companies do to stay future-proof? Find out below.


conscious consumption
Everything that companies do is becoming more visible. This puts companies under pressure to raise their profile responsibly. We are finding it increasingly important to consider why we buy something and how companies contribute to a better society.

the role of stores is changing
The role of stores has changed from being a place of transaction to a place of attraction. A very attractive place where customers feel welcome. In the most extreme case, stores are places where no transactions take place at all.

consumer as co-producer
The consumer is evolving from end user to co-producer. Strongly driven by technological developments, brands are increasingly involving the end user in the production process. Custom-building is common in the construction trade, but this trend is blowing over to almost every other retail branch.

further digitization
Digitization is the driving force behind future growth and change. Besides new applications, this mainly concerns the ownership and use of data. Looking ahead to 2030, companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Meta will have even more influence on the ways in which supply and demand are brought together thanks to their data, reach and applications.

shopping via algorithm
You don't shop, but everything you need is delivered automatically on a daily basis. Intelligent products that re-order themselves when they are running low. Smart refrigerators which make sure that they are always well stocked. A scenario that is possible thanks to technology and artificial intelligence.

use rather than own
In the future, consumers will buy more service contracts instead of products. You don't necessarily need to own a product to use it. Examples are automobile lease contracts or a Spotify subscription. Due to economic, social and practical motives, more and more consumers are open to paying for use instead of ownership.

sustainable and circular economy
The traditional cycle of production, consumption and throwing things away needs to be broken. Our throwaway society, where retail plays a major role, is not future-proof. The retail trade can make a major contribution to creating a sustainable, circular economy based on its knowledge about its customers, logistics and service. An economy where practically everything is recycled and garbage is the new raw material.

speed and flexibility
Speed and flexibility remain essential for the retail trade. Logistic service providers are therefore committed to efficient use of water, air and land. This provides retail companies with a vast range of delivery options. For example: delivery by drones, bicycle or bike courier, autonomous robots or self-driving cars.

social commerce
Word-of-mouth advertising is gaining an ever-stronger foothold in marketing due to the influence of social media. Each client is a constantly switched-on media channel who is constantly influencing other people via social media about what they should buy and where. The result is an enormous increase in social media budgets.

The above data is based, among other things, on the research report: ‘Retail richting 2030 van INretail’ (Retail towards 2030 by INretail).'

market challenges

The effective use of marketing is playing an increasingly large role in promoting the potential growth and future-proofing of companies in the retail sector. Do you see your retail company facing one of the market challenges below?
  • Your brand is not reaching the desired target group
  • You don't have a compelling story that convinces customers
  • You do not stand out from the other players in your market
  • You have a strategic ambition that you cannot achieve with your current branding
  • You struggle to find employees or your current employees have no pride in their work
  • Your brand is missing out on the huge opportunities of digitization
  • Your brand no longer matches current market and customer needs
  • Your branding lacks individuality and recognizability
  • You lack sharp choices in where to go with your brand

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