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2024 Plans: What Shoppers Want and How Retailers Can Deliver

Dec 07, 2023

A few blocks are stacked up to highlight the 2024 trends topic.

As we peer into the crystal ball for 2024 and gaze into an uncertain economic climate, one thing we can see clearly: retail landscape is ever-evolving — and it’s imperative for retail businesses to stay ahead of the curve. Consumer trends and shopping patterns are in a constant state of flux, and understanding what’s on the horizon is the key to success. 

Whether you’re a dedicated shopper or a business owner looking to adapt to the evolving needs of your customers, allow the information in this article to serve as your compass for the journey into the new year.

Customer Preferences and the Pursuit of Personalized Shopping

One of the standout trends that has already shaped the industry — and is poised to strengthen into 2024 and beyond — is the demand by customers for an increasingly personalized shopping experience. Shoppers are no longer satisfied with a one-size-fits-all approach; they crave tailored recommendations, unique shopping journeys and product assortments that mirror their specific tastes.

To meet this demand, retailers are stepping up their game, exploring and using data-driven technologies to provide a level of personalization that was once a distant dream. Here are just a few: 

AI Recommendations

Artificial intelligence has taken center stage in delivering personalized shopping experiences, and leveraging AI recommendations can have a significant positive impact on your business. Using sophisticated algorithms, AI analyzes a customer’s shopping choices, browsing history and behavior to generate tailored product recommendations. This not only enhances the shopping experience but also significantly increases the likelihood of converting store or site browsers into shoppers. In fact, with AI evolving and being used in every facet of life almost daily, not using it is a good way to ensure you’ll get left behind. 

Interactive Websites 

Modern retail websites are designed to be interactive, with user-friendly navigation and search functionalities. Shoppers can effortlessly filter and sort products according to their preferences, making the shopping process smoother and more enjoyable. Websites designed to be responsive — that is, to display and work seamlessly whether the customer is on a laptop or their phone — also can make the difference between a great and unsatisfactory customer experience. 

Virtual Shopping Assistants 

Virtual shopping assistants powered by AI are becoming evermore commonplace. These convenient digital helpers guide customers through their shopping journey, answering queries, offering product recommendations, and even assisting with the checkout process. They’re like a knowledgeable salesperson available 24/7, adding a touch of personalization in the digital landscape and making shopping feel more like you’re right in the store.

In a nutshell, the goal for retailers in 2024 is to make shopping not just convenient but enjoyable — ensuring that customers feel seen, heard and appreciated.

Economic Factors and Adaptive Retail Strategies

Economic pressures (such as inflation) continue to influence consumer behavior around the globe. To thrive in this environment, businesses must not only fine-tune their pricing strategies but also become as nimble as possible, adapting their product offerings to cater to price-sensitive consumers. It’s crucial to acknowledge that different shoppers will respond differently to economic shifts, and retailers should be prepared to cater to diverse economic realities.

Budget-Friendly Payment Methods 

One effective strategy to address economic pressures is to offer budget-friendly payment methods, so customers have options on how to get the products they want in a way that aligns with their unique financial situation (especially larger items). Lease-to-own solutions, such as those offered by Acima Leasing, can be a game-changer for businesses and their customers. These solutions enable shoppers, especially those on tight budgets, to bring home essential items without a hefty upfront payment and without the fear of getting themselves into long-term credit debt. It’s a win-win, as customers get the products they need while retailers make sales and grow their revenue.

Shopping Trends and Shopping Patterns: The E-commerce Era

Understanding current shopping trends and shopping patterns (such as the ones described below) will be pivotal to staying relevant in the retail landscape of 2024.

E-commerce Reigns Supreme

E-commerce is king, and it’s only getting more regal. The shift toward online shopping, mobile shopping apps and a multitude of payment methods has revolutionized the retail industry. The reasons behind this shift are clear: Customers demand convenience, variety and the ability to instantly compare prices.

Retailers are making substantial investments in their e-commerce platforms. They understand that to succeed, they must not only keep pace with the digital revolution but also continually innovate to stand out in an increasingly crowded online marketplace. Not doing so allows the competition to steal customers away.

The Omnichannel Approach

Customers today expect a consistent shopping experience across all channels, whether they’re browsing in-store, on a mobile app or on a website. So retailers are striving to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping with omnichannel experiences — creating seamless transitions between browsing online and making in-store purchases, and vice versa. Retailers who can successfully merge the offline and online worlds will likely have a competitive edge in 2024.

QR Codes: The Contactless Revolution

The rising adoption of convenient, contactless QR codes for payments has been widely embraced in the retail space, with its trend showing no signs of slowing down. It offers consumers a swift and hassle-free way to pay for products and services in less time. For retailers, it streamlines the payment process, reducing friction at the checkout. 

QR codes also offer a direct channel to your target audience, allowing them to instantly access pertinent information, promotional offers and exclusive content with a simple scan. What a marketing money-saver for your company!

How Acima Leasing Can Bolster Your 2024 Plans

As we approach the dawn of a new year, it’s a perfect moment to fine-tune your retail strategies, not just to keep pace with competitors but also to cater to your customers’ evolving needs and desires. If you’re seeking ways to elevate your retail strategy in 2024, Acima Leasing’s lease-to-own solutions can do all that and then go one better: Their easily integrated system can unlock a vast, untapped market. 

With Acima’s lease-to-own solutions, customers who were previously unable to make substantial upfront payments (whether due to limited budgets or credit challenges) can now enjoy flexible shopping power that had previously eluded them. Thanks to this alternative to financing, they can bring home the items they’ve longed for — whether they are essential or indulgent — without a significant initial financial burden and without using credit.*

Retailers who stay attuned to these trends, embrace new opportunities/revenue makers and explore innovative solutions like Acima Leasing’s offerings will be well-prepared for success in the ever-evolving world of retail. By understanding what shoppers want and adapting to their changing needs, your company can chart a course toward retail excellence in the year ahead.