Five retail predictions for 2024

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Nearly 80% of shoppers find clean-label products appealing when given a definition.

Retailers should be ready for another year of marketplace disruption. 

Retail insights firm Acosta Group has shared its five retail predictions for 2024, which include changes in technology, marketing and consumer trends.

"While we expect 2024 to remain as complex as 2023, brands and retailers will have opportunities to better understand and meet the evolving demands of their customers, securing meaningful growth for their businesses," said Colin Stewart, executive VP of business intelligence, Acosta Group. 

Acosta Group’s five predictions include the following:

Driving Growth Will Take Standout Creative Measures

Ninety-percent of top U.S. retail leaders are prioritizing unit growth in 2024, with consumers expected to continue being cautious with their spending, according to Acosta's recent Retailer Confidential Report.  When developing a promotion strategy, the company recommends that retailers create promotions that don't erode margins for retailers, brands or shoppers, deploy/evolve revenue growth management (RGM) programs and practice disciplined post-promotion analytics.

Seamless Retail Redefines Shopper Delight

Acosta Group noted that innovative and disruptive technology aimed at making the retail experience “seamless” for shoppers will continue to be important in 2024. According to its own research, 63% of shoppers use an app on their phone inside a store while grocery shopping, and that number increases to 80% for Gen Z and 81% for Millennials.

The company recommends that retailers integrate trade, marketing and retail media spend, targeting specific shoppers and “need-states” with both in-store and online merchandising to maximize budget, grow sales and improve margin. Retailers can also strengthen product detail pages with searchable words, hero images, infographics and more, while also placing a sharper focus on the “share of shelf” and assortment optimization to meet shopper demand and keep shelves stocked.

AI Propels Retail Efficiency and Shopper Experience

Successfully applying artificial intelligence (AI) in 2024 will also be a key for retailers, with Gen Z being generation most comfortable with retailers using AI to improve their shopping experience via personalized rewards/recommendations.

Acosta Group recommends prioritizing AI use cases for supply chain and logistics efficiencies, implementing localized assortment and price/promotion optimization, while using the technology to streamline operations overall.

Shoppers Prioritize What's NOT in Their Products

More and more Americans are concerned about processed foods, with opting for clean-label products. According to FMCG Gurus, 41% of consumers have heard of clean-label, relating it to natural and healthy, and 78% find it appealing when provided a definition.

In 2024, retailers and brands can better understand that analytics segmenting key label attributes will be important, actively communicate what additives or chemicals aren’t in their products, and use social and digital media to educate shoppers while demonstrating the value of their products.

Retailers Turn Up the Heat to Attract Diners

Finally, Acosta Group predicts that further competition between restaurants, convenience stores and retailers will shape foodservice in 2024. Acosta Group's Retailer Confidential Report found that 71% of retail executives are expanding their offerings of fresh foods.

In the new year, retailers should enrich the in-store experience and create reasons to linger, sample and dine, create cross-promotions to provide shoppers with meal solutions across all meal occasions and elevate digital integration.

Acosta recommends that retailers:

  • Enrich the in-store experience and create reasons to linger, sample and dine;
  • Create cross-promotions to provide shoppers with meal solutions across all meal occasions; and
  • Elevate digital integration.


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