Skip to main content
Acima Leasing Logo

A Modern Retailer’s Guide to Finding Today’s Trending Products

Mar 12, 2024

A customer in a store looking at the latest model of a phone.

It’s no secret that when customers are shopping for something, they want the latest and greatest. So as a retailer, staying ahead of consumer trends is not just beneficial — it’s essential for survival and growth. In this article, we’ll get into the methodologies and tools retailers can use to keep pace with market demands. We’ll also explore how lease-to-own solutions can provide the flexibility needed to swiftly adapt to these trends.

Knowing Your Consumer

Before focusing on determining the trending products you are interested in offering, it's essential to grasp some specifics about your consumer market. This understanding is pivotal for various reasons. Firstly, it enables your retail business to accurately identify consumer needs and preferences, building the foundation for the development of your product selections. This personalized approach supports your growth in the retail market. Additionally, having insights into your consumer market facilitates the development of targeted marketing strategies which can contribute to building customer loyalty. Furthermore, this knowledge provides a competitive edge by identifying market gaps or areas where competitors may falter.

Let’s look at one relevant consumer market, the non-prime consumer, who may be seeking a way to shop without using credit.* Nearly half of U.S. consumers can be categorized as non-prime consumers who are seeking alternatives to traditional financing (1). In this case, you should consider offering a shopping option like lease-to-own as you are expanding your product selections. By addressing the gap in alternatives to traditional payment methods, you are expanding the shopping power of your consumers.

Finding Your Trending Products for Your Consumer

Understanding Consumer Behavior

The foundation of predicting and adapting to consumer and product trends lies in a deep understanding of consumer behavior. Tools like social media analytics, Google Trends and direct customer feedback provide invaluable insights into what consumers are looking for. Analyzing this data helps retailers anticipate market demands and adjust their offerings accordingly.

Market Research Techniques

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis involves a thorough examination of competitors’ products, sales strategies and customer feedback. It helps retailers identify market gaps and opportunities for innovation by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. This analysis is foundational for adjusting product offerings and marketing strategies to better meet consumer demands.

Attending Industry Trade Shows

Trade shows provide invaluable insights into new products, technologies and market trends directly from manufacturers or distributors. They are crucial for networking, understanding industry directions and gathering insights that might not be widely available. Retailers can use these opportunities to foresee market shifts and align their strategies to future demands.

Leveraging Online Marketplaces for Data

Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy serve as rich data sources for consumer trends and preferences. By analyzing best-selling products, customer reviews and search terms, retailers can identify what products are in demand. This real-time feedback from a broad consumer base informs agile product strategies and marketing approaches.

Utilizing Data Analytics Platforms and Software

Data analytics platforms synthesize information from various sources (including social media, website traffic and sales figures) to predict consumer behaviors and trends. By choosing the right tools and applying insights gained from data analysis, retailers can make informed decisions about inventory management, marketing efforts and product development to proactively meet emerging consumer needs.

Utilizing Technology for Trend Prediction

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the retail landscape by offering advanced tools for trendspotting and predictive analysis. By sifting through complex datasets, AI helps retailers identify emerging trends, understand consumer behaviors and anticipate future market demands with a high degree of accuracy. This technology enables businesses to adapt swiftly to consumer preferences, ensuring they remain competitive in a fast-paced market.

Key areas where AI assists in the retail sector include:

  • Analyzing consumer behavior to uncover trends

  • Forecasting product demand and sales trends

  • Personalizing the customer experience through tailored recommendations

  • Optimizing inventory levels to meet anticipated demand

  • Identifying emerging trends by processing social media and online data

The Importance of Social Media in Trendspotting

Trendsetting Through Social Media

Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest are not merely channels for communication; they are powerful tools for setting trends. These platforms are the birthplace of many trends, driven by a vibrant community of creators, influencers and users who share and engage with new ideas daily. This ecosystem allows retailers to observe in real-time the evolving interests of consumers, providing early signals about emerging trends. The interactive nature of these platforms also offers retailers an opportunity to engage with these communities, participate in conversations and even influence trends directly.

The Power of Analytics

The analytics provided by social media platforms are invaluable for retailers aiming to understand consumer behavior and preferences. By analyzing data on user engagement, preferences and reactions, retailers can identify patterns that help predict future trends. This analytical approach aids in refining product development and marketing strategies, ensuring that offerings are aligned with consumer expectations and interests.

Engaging and Influencing

Engaging with online communities and influencers is a strategic move for retailers looking to tap into early trend signals. This engagement not only garners direct feedback from potential customers but also allows retailers to actively influence consumer preferences. By participating in these digital ecosystems, retailers can shape the narrative around their products and brand, steering trends favorably in their direction.

Adapting to Fast-Changing Trends

The ability to quickly adapt to new trends is crucial for retailers aiming to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. Adopting a flexible supply chain allows businesses to adjust more seamlessly to changes in consumer demand. And forming partnerships offers the chance to experiment with new products or markets facilitating swift adaptation based on consumer feedback and market trends.

Unlock Your Retail Potential with Lease-to-Own Solutions

Staying ahead doesn’t simply mean keeping up with trends. It also entails providing your customers with the flexibility they deserve during their shopping experience — most importantly at checkout. At Acima Leasing, we understand this necessity and are at the forefront of offering innovative lease-to-own payment solutions tailored for retailers like you. By offering Acima Leasing in your stores and on your website, you can make your products accessible to a wider range of customers. This approach can not only help enhance customer satisfaction, but it can also support strategies to drive sales, ensuring your business remains competitive and responsive to consumer needs.

Visit our website to learn more about how you can take advantage of our lease-to-own solution both for your customers' enjoyment and your business growth.

Common Questions

How do retailers identify emerging trends in the market?

Retailers identify emerging trends through a combination of market research, social media analytics, consumer feedback and industry reports. Staying attuned to changes in consumer behavior and preferences across various platforms allows retailers to spot trends early and adapt their offerings accordingly.

Can social media influence the success of a retail trend?

Yes, social media can significantly influence the success of a retail trend. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest not only reflect current consumer interests but can also propel new trends into the mainstream through viral content, influencer endorsements and user-generated content.

How important is technology in adapting to retail trends?

Technology plays a crucial role in adapting to retail trends, especially through AI and data analytics for trend prediction and inventory management. Advanced technologies enable retailers to analyze large datasets for insights into consumer behavior, forecast demand and personalize the shopping experience, making it easier to stay ahead of market trends.

1. “The Consumer Credit Card Market.” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, September 2021