1. Increasing use cases of AI in retail

Since this is an article focusing heavily on retail trends, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational commerce. While the technology has been around for quite some time, the rise of more mainstream solutions like ChatGPT propelled AI to the forefront of innovation.

Everyone from retail brands to online marketplaces is doubling down on their AI efforts. Instacart, for example, launched a ChatGPT plugin to power its virtual shopping assistant. Meanwhile, Walmart is developing its own AI language models to bolster its supply chain.

Some companies are using AI to improve personalization. Nako Cosmetics, a private-label cosmetics manufacturer, is leveraging the technology to create bespoke customer experiences. 

“The rise of data analytics and AI means retailers can provide more tailored shopping experiences than ever before. At Nako, we’ve begun leveraging AI-driven insights to curate personalized product suggestions,” remarks founder Sophia Tang.

“For instance, by analyzing purchase histories and skin type inputs, our online platform offers bespoke skincare routines. In a recent pilot program, this hyper-personalization led to a 28% uptick in repeat purchases and a 15% increase in average order value.”


2. Community-centric retailers will flourish

There are several reasons why community-centric retail will continue to rise in 2024. 

For one, consumers today are increasingly seeking authentic, meaningful experiences when they shop. Research shows that 88% of consumers consider authenticity as an important factor when deciding which brands to support.

Not only that but there’s a growing desire among shoppers to support local stores. According to a survey by Intuit, almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers want to shop at local businesses. 

All this is to say that community-centric retail is here to stay and is a movement you should capitalize on.

Meaghan Brophy, a Retail Expert at Fit Small Business, recommends taking a hyperlocal approach.

“Implement a microlocalization strategy by tailoring product assortments to the specific tastes and preferences of different neighborhoods,” advises Brophy. 

Another idea, she says, is to “Partner with local artisans or businesses to create exclusive products or services that resonate with the community, leveraging consumers’ inclination towards supporting local businesses.”

These steps enable you to tap into the growing consumer demand for authenticity and community support. This, in turn, helps you build stronger relationships with your customers and differentiate your brand.



Customers today want the ability to shop seamlessly online, in-store, and on mobile devices, and they expect to find the same products, prices, and promotions regardless of where they shop.
To that end, retailers that successfully implement omnichannel strategies will thrive in the coming year. This can be done by connecting all of your systems and data (sales, inventory levels, etc.) so that customers can see the same information, products, and promotions regardless of whether they’re shopping online, in-store, or on their mobile devices.
In some cases, retailers may also use technology to show real-time inventory from all channels in-store. That way, customers can see whether a product is in stock online, in their local store, or a nearby location.
Target, for example, has effectively implemented this strategy by integrating its online and in-store systems. Customers can quickly check product availability online and on mobile to confirm whether an item is in stock before ordering or heading to a store.



In-store merchandising in 2024 will reflect trends from the 90s and 2000s (much to the chagrin of millennials). This shouldn’t come as a surprise; fashion, after all, is cyclical, and we’re at a time when the Y2K trends are making a comeback. 

People are turning to social media to express their nostalgia and share their amusement at seeing these styles return. 

For example, Tiktok user @harkeofficial went viral when she captured her visit to Target, highlighting the women’s apparel section’s throwback to late 90s and early 2000s fashion. The video showcased a resurgence of classic trends, from patent leather platform heels to spaghetti strap dresses, and even floral bucket hats and bejeweled belts, all making a stylish comeback.

On TikTok, the hashtag #90sfashion has over 1.7 billion views, while the hashtag #Y2Kfashion has over 2.6 billion views.