Hot or Not – The Retail Edit

I’m a huge fan of lists, lists and trends.  An avid reader of the ONS Shopping Basket of Goods, imagine my excitement on discovering the John Lewis 2017 Retail Report.  The annual report, released last week, and now celebrating its fifth year, takes us on a brilliant shopping journey (without spending a penny) – how we shop and why, and what we’re buying – with plenty of throwbacks and predictions too.

Examining the flash-in-the-pans of the last five years – think Loom Bands and Unicorns, and the items that came back (perhaps to haunt us in the case of Rubik’s Cubes), and the ever evolving must-haves – it’s perhaps hard to imagine a time before the Nutribullet and a swan inflatables.

In 2017 though, iconic brands have stood the test of time, and even amongst uncertainty we’ve all found the time (and money) to treat ourselves with ‘affordable’ pick-me-ups.

Image: The John Lewis Retail Report 2017

Perhaps unsurprisingly the report examines customer expectations – we want great service, choice and quality – but affordable prices across the board.  We’re also quick to turn to our smartphones to make quite, convenient purchases.

The shopping experience continues to be driven by and for Millennials.  The desire for shared experiences and activities which can be snapped and shared on social media in an instant is changing the shopping experience for us all.

And if you didn’t already know, shopping is well and truly a 24/7 activity!  Browsing when you can’t sleep?  You’re not alone.  We’re placing an average 9,000 orders every night on, right through the night – from games, to sewing machines and TV’s we’re not afraid of ordering big when we should be counting sheep.

Unsurprisingly app and smartphone purchases are increasing more than any other channel – and something I can relate to… “Womenswear sees higher spend via social than any other category, suggesting it is hard to resist a wardrobe refresh when you see something you love on social media.”  Swipe up, link in the bio, it’s hard to remember a time when visiting Instagram didn’t become an opportunity to buy.

The average mobile browsing session is now just six minutes – coined ‘bite-size shopping for busy lives’ – with more sessions than ever before leading to a purchase.  But what are we buying?

The products defining the year 2017:

  1. The Velvet Sofa – a big hit in helping homes to look plush
  2. The Gin Balloon Glass (a guilty purchase)
  3. The Khaki Jacket (yep this too)
  4. The Voice Activated Assistant – gone are the days of physically writing a shopping list, or setting an alarm
  5. The Cactus – the homestyling accessory of summer 2017

While we say goodbye to 2017:

  1. Sat Navs – we’re all about the smartphone and built in Sat-Navs now
  2. eReaders – Brits are buying books, not so sure about this one, as a huge Kindle convert!
  3. Spiralizers – sales have fizzled out after a two year craze
  4. Analogue Radios – we’re all tuned out
  5. Office Suits for Women – as tradition becomes a thing of the past

Looking ahead, John Lewis are predicting customers will seek home style inspiration from Japan, men’s shirts will grab attention and increasingly our tech will respond to our voices.

  1. We’ll talk to our tech – 2018 is the year of voice control
  2. Coffee will get personal – with machines getting to know their owners preferences
  3. Prints will get wild – the year of the jungle is upon us (and our furnishings)
  4. We’ll turn to Japan for inspiration – think minimalist
  5. Men’s shirts will make a statement – ‘conversational’ short sleeved shirts are on their way,ladies
  6. Lips will go two-tone – the appearance of two tone lips: with clashing colours on upper and lower lips for a standout pout.

I can’t wait to see what we lose next year in the retail pr report… It best not be the Nutribullet!

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