At the start of every year, the industry is inundated with lists of top trends, predictions of what’s next, and best practices that we’re all supposed to follow. And every year, it can feel overwhelming to know which direction to take.

To help you narrow down what’s really important in the world of retail in 2024 and get the most value out of your work, we’ve gathered our insights into three of the top themes to direct your attention.

Focus on intentional applications of AI

AI isn’t a one-size-fits-all. But, don’t let the various applications of AI intimidate you. At its core, AI should help your business create efficiency and ease pain points. Take a look at what makes the most sense for your business and strategically create a path forward.

Retailers compete in a noisy marketplace and AI can often be seen as a buzzy, shiny new differentiator to implement. But we’re now seeing an influx of AI tools with haphazard implementation. Customer behavior shows that AI tools are only effective when implemented the right way.

Ask: how can AI truly improve the customer experience, drive incremental sales and create long-term loyalty?

Maximize your time with the media

In an ideal world, we’d have all the time in the world for C-suite executives to impart their strong voices and expert knowledge in the media… but often, that’s unrealistic.

To be most efficient, get clear on your messaging and value proposition. Effectively position yourself as not only an expert on the challenges your company solves for customers, but an expert on larger industry concerns. Prove to the media that you’re an indispensable resource and, in turn, show current and prospective clients the value your expertise brings to their business as well.  

Need some idea starters? Try out our StoryHub which follows our exact process for designing stories that evoke emotion and action in your core audiences. 

Build agile systems throughout your consumer experience

Consumer behaviors are changing constantly. In our hybrid world of online and in-person shopping options, it’s vital to craft a seamless experience between these touch points.

Think about your own habits as a consumer. When you visit a store’s mobile app and then go into their physical store, you expect a similar experience. You expect to easily find items, pay for them in the same ways, and have a similar convenience provided to you. 

At the same time, the delivery and returns process should be equally as seamless. This all requires retailers to be agile throughout the entire customer journey and embrace the nuances of the customer’s needs. As a bonus benefit, honing in on agility helps your company become flexible with the changing tides and always be ready for what’s to come in the future.

As with each passing year, 2024 holds strong promise for new technological advancements to help retailers like you. But remember: you don’t need to implement it all. A few intentional, strategic actions can often make a bigger impact than a flashy, extravagant change.

And a final reminder: you don’t have to do it all alone. Our team is ready to help. If you’re looking for assistance in achieving actionable, intentional change, send us a message to learn how SourceCode can help your business thrive in 2024.