The retail business has its own lingo. These days new Retail buzzwords pop up faster than you can say … pop-up.
We have collected some of our favorite retail terms and trends, old and new. Our very own retail dictionary!
We will keep updating this glossary of retail buzzwords and terms as new ones are introduced. Please let us know if you stumble across any new retail words that you think should be included here.
AR (augmented reality)
Not long ago this way of shopping seemed like science fiction: Using your phone to try on shoes? Experience a sofa inside your own house before you’ve bought it? Digital experiences are becoming more and more real, and retailers and customers are starting to explore the possibilities.
AI (artificial intelligence)
Artificial intelligence is not only a retail buzzword, it’s an everything buzzword. The collection of big data allows for a more personalized shopping experience. It might seem scary to have a machine knowing more or less everything about your personal needs, but it’s very practical to have “someone” make sure you are never out of toothpaste.
Brick and Mortar stores
This charming expression can be confusing: Do they all actually sell bricks and mortars? These days it’s just a cuter way to say “physical store”, as a contrast to e-commerce. A real store of flesh and bones, or bricks and mortar, if you will. B&Ms for short.
Customer Experience (CX)
Possibly THE greatest retail buzzword of them all? Sometimes it feels like you can’t make one single transaction without it being a part of an experience of some sort. Shopping is not just browsing and buying, ideally you should walk out of the store feeling enriched, empowered and entertained.
“Not in stock” is no longer bad for business. Many retailers skip having the goods physically in stock in their stores, and rather transfer the order directly to the manufacturer. This saves store space and the environmental impact of excess transport.
Beyond the products you see in the physical shelves, the aisle goes on forever. Thankfully you don’t have to walk there. By using digital devices the browsing could be next to endless.The mix of virtual and physical makes sure you get the best of both worlds.
A little gamification makes anything fun, as we preach here at Mevo. Engaging customers in some exciting point collecting sparks the competitive spirit and boosts loyalty.
Internet of things. It’s everywhere, also in retail. Yes, this means robots, but that’s not all. It also means devices that collect data to make sure customers and store staff can do what they are there to do more efficiently.
This applies not only to retail, but to life in general: If it makes you take out your phone to photograph it, it instantly increases in value. And if it’s pretty/interesting/funny enough, you will want to share it with your friends. In retail, this puts extra pressure on the visual merchandisers (see V).
The solutions are many, but the principle is the same: You pay by using your phone instead of cash/card. Apple Pay is one solution, but new players pop up all the time. Which one will win the hearts of both consumers and retailers? Time will show.
Survival of the narrowest? While everything else in retail is going superdigital, the opposite is happening in a parallel, analog universe. This is a place where cash is hip and the more specialised the product, the better.
When technology makes it possible to be present at many places at once, you should take advantage of that. The brick and mortar store is just one part of the operation: You also have the web page, social media and apps. Many channels, omnichannel.
Limited edition shopping experiences that take advantage of people’s FOMO and give plenty of opportunities for creating unique CX (see C). Often very instagrammable (see I). Short-term sales spaces, either within an existing store or separately, give brands and retailers a place to do something out of the ordinary.
Through AI (see A) and IoT (see I) shopping will get more and more customized to individual needs. Based on previous behaviour and buys, retailers will be able to offer taylormade experiences, both online and IRL.
The much talked about death of retail, which many argue is wildly exaggerated.
The common consumer practise of using brick and mortar stores as showrooms, only to go home and purchase the product online instead. Has its counterpart in the opposite practise, webrooming (see W).
Made possible by AI (see A), retailers are able to zero in on narrow niche segments (see N) and cater to very specific needs.
How products are displayed in retail spaces can make or break them. The visual experience of shopping has always been key, online or off, and today it’s more important than ever.
The act of doing online research before going out and actually buying the product in a physical store IRL.