The IGD recently released their top five trends that will shape the global retail sector in 2019.

Leading the way according to Toby Pickard, Head of Insight, Innovation and Futures at IGD, was the continuation of rapid and radical change in the food and grocery industry.

“We have already seen a significant pivot towards innovative new technology, and there is no sign of this letting up next year. Shoppers’ expectations have changed, and the retail and grocery sectors are working to meet those expectations in every area of business.”

So here’s a closer look at IGD’s key retail trends that will define the way consumers shop, and retailers sell, next year:

1. Data dictates the way

Data will be one of the main building blocks of retail growth. As well as helping to boost sales, accurate data will be vital for tools that allow retailers to understand customer behaviour, reward their loyalty, and offer more personalised shopping.

2. Sustainability concerns will change the way retailers do business

Retailers will increasingly take the lead on sustainability-related issues. Concerns relating to food waste and plastic pollution have lead to changing attitudes across consumers of all ages. Nearly three quarters (74%) of UK shoppers say that they have become more aware of the environmental impact of plastic packaging over the past year, and this has led to innovations such as biodegradable wrapping and plastic-free supermarket aisles. Retailers are no longer thinking about just reducing waste, but want to make a positive, tangible contribution. The next wave of innovative and leading retailers and brands will move beyond reducing their impact.

3. Seamless shopping experiences is key

Physical stores will offer a much more digital experience in 2019, by using technology to make it easier for customers to find items and gain more product information. This should lead to a faster shop for many, where searching aisles and shelves for the right item is replaced by an app that guides shoppers to where they want to be.

4. Healthy eating and wellness will grow in popularity

Retailers will play a more active role in supporting the health and wellness of consumers. Most shoppers aspire to eat and live well, with 85% saying they are actively trying to improve their diet, but aspirations don’t always translate into action. Supporting them  will be a major priority for retailers and their suppliers. This means that both consumers and businesses will be thinking more about wellness and the role of retail in promoting cleaner living going forward.

5. Shopping opportunities will increasingly be available anywhere, anytime

Social commerce will grow with more options for purchasing products “on the go”. Retailers and suppliers will deliver targeted marketing and new ways to make online shopping more social, instantaneous, and convenient.