Talent for product trendspotting is a retailer’s revenue lifeline. The ASD Insider team breaks down 2017’s (and some of 2018’s) top wholesale product trends here so you can maximize your holiday season planning! The trick is spotting the next big thing before it’s overdone (and over).
A product trend’s uptick in popularity is rarely random or a product of happenstance: There are overarching themes in today’s narrative that help inform and embolden what people are talking about and therefore buying at retail. Understanding the connections between each item can only help you market them more successfully.
For some retail buyers, trendspotting is an innate skill. They’re drawn to certain items and simply know that they “just have to carry it!” For others, it’s a more elusive art form: in addition to being at the right place at the right time and jumping on the trends before they’re relevant, there’s a particular expertise in predicting what your customers want before they do.
Having “the eye” to spot trends among the 2,700 lifestyle vendors at ASD Market Week is key when walking 9-shows-in-1 of high-margin goods. And 2017 is proving to be quite a year in terms of trends that are sure to benefit retailers well into 2018 as well.
One scroll of social media these days and the general vibe includes millennial pink (a.k.a. Tumblr pink); Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and Wonder Woman on the pop culture front; and unicorn and mermaid everything (from lattes and toast to makeup trends).
With Wonder Woman wowing audiences as the blockbuster of the summer (and 2nd top grossing film of 2017 so far), “girl power” is inspiring merchandise in all kinds of ways, starting with the designer runways and trickling down to mass fashion retailers. When it comes to trends, the future is indeed female!
Here’s an overview of 2017 in trends, which are especially key heading into the holiday season.
The Wholesale Product Trends
1. Paper Products Are Making an Impact
In a game of rock, paper, scissors, “paper” has been the undefeated champion for the past few years. It seems the more digital we get, the more “analog” items such as notebooks, stationery, and all kinds of desk accessories are increasing in popularity.
What’s behind the trend?
A few factors are at play:
A: Bloggers, influencers, and creatives of all kinds are sharing their offices and desk spaces on social media. #Deskgoals are the new #wanderlust.
B: While we’re spending time online, there’s something nostalgic, natural, and emotional in the tactile.
C: Thanks to the rise in the freelancer and coworking space trend, people are taking pride in turning their desk into a personal paradise with everything from paper calendars and mini terrariums to neon lamps and decorative pieces.
King Max Products
For more about the stationery and desk accessories trend, read and take note of this detailed overview: Desk Goals Revolution: The Wholesale Products Everyone’s Talking About
2. Mystical Items Are Casting a Retail Spell
The mystical and spiritual items once reserved for “New Age” retailers have now become part of the mainstream.
There are several layers to the cosmic and mystical trend.
A: Mythical creatures like unicorns, mermaids, and dragons are having a major moment (likely thanks to Game of Thrones).
B: With crystals, smudging, sage, oils, and talismans, we’re clinging to items that help bring on “good vibes only.” In addition, creating rituals around a daily routine helps add calm and intention to the storm.
C: Back to nature: There’s a general call to get back to nature and feel grounded with the earth as a way of “detoxing” from our highly digital lives.
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For more about the mystical trend, dive into Make Retail Magic: Why Mysticism Is a Trend to Watch.
3. Festival Fashion: Retro Vibes
Festival season is a huge fashion event, right up there with New York Fashion Week; it has become a fashion moment and the official kickoff to spring.
So which trends are taking center stage?
For starters, there’s a return to retro, with throwback ‘70s style “rocker” T-shirts, as well as embroidery and patches on denim.
Fanny packs are also huge this year, as spotted on celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Leonardo DiCaprio.
For more about festival fashion, add this to your playlist and read: Get These Coachella-Inspired Festival Fashion Accessories for Your Shop in 2017.
4. Jewelry Trends: More Is More
Forget minimalism; this year’s jewelry is far from basic. It’s all about statement necklaces and earrings — and when it comes to how bold you go, it’s go big or go home.
Currently trending: chokers, metallic layered chains, and vibrant necklaces featuring tassels and pompoms.
(A note about fall 2017: red is the color of the season, so keep that in mind for the holidays.)
For more about the jewelry trends making a statement, check out 5 Key Jewelry Trends: Drive Sales With These Fashion Accessories.
5. Beauty Product Trends
According to Forbes, beauty is now a $445 billion sales industry — and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. When it comes to beauty, two key overarching factors seem to be fueling its exponential growth:
Hygge: a Danish term defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” This lifestyle trend has influenced everything from home decor to candles, as there has been a shift from “going out” to “staying in.” Today there’s no shame in staying home “masking” rather than being out mingling — especially when using a Korean Beauty charcoal mask, for example!
This trend has also led to the popularity of bathtime accessories like “bath bombs” and essential oils.
The Clean Beauty Revolution: Vegan, natural, and cruelty-free products are also important. According to this article in Well + Good, “From bloggers to members of Congress, there’s a clean beauty movement in the works — with the goal of keeping consumers safe from harmful chemicals in the products they reach for every day.”
The Naked Bee
We close-up on the beauty industry and the 6 key trends fueling this booming biz here: The Business of Beauty: 6 Trends That Are Driving Consumer Spending.
Trending Products (and Vendors) from ASD Market Week
We also covered the previous ASD Market Week trade show head-to-toe and found trending and high-margin products and vendors in almost every category: fashion, gifts, souvenirs, retro, home decor, wellness: The Product Trends and Vendors from Days 1, 2, 3 and 4 of August 2017 ASD Market Week.
Always Be Trendspotting: Here’s How
To get a head start and stay on top of trend forecasting before heading to the next ASD Market Week (or before doing your buying), read our article: Digital Trendspotting for Retailers: A Crash Course in Selecting Products.
For More Information on Products Featured Above:
- Comeco Inc.
- Fantasy Gifts
- King Max
- KSX Enterprise Inc.
- Mika Accessories
- The Naked Bee
- Papyrus-Recycled Greetings