Street Style, Day 4, Fall 2017, New York Fashion Week, USA - 12 Feb 2017
Merchants have had to learn new tricks to reach shoppers on an iPhone, here decked out with a Moschino case.

From recent news headlines focusing on retailers who have failed to survive, it is clear that the retail landscape is dramatically changing. However, there has been one constant through this change: consumers. Consumers are playing a crucial role in how the retail industry will move forward.

For example, the consumers’ passion and voice in the retail realm has recently been influential on retail companies, who strive to position themselves better for the future with consumers. Below are a few attributes consumers are starting to demand from retailers:

Be Genuine in Social Responsibility

“Do good and give back.” Simple words, but can be convoluted when retailers try to find their ethos and run a business at the same time. For example, happening more than ever in today’s market, most consumers are pushing their favorite brands to commit to restoring the ecosystem and promote social philanthropic causes. These consumers want the brand to be personally involved and vested — ideally lining up with the values of the consumers.

Ryan Patel think tank
Ryan Patel JP

That means writing just a check may not always be enough for consumers, but by having the brand’s executives and employees helping in the community and/or personally supporting a cause, the brand makes a larger impact and a deeper connection with its consumers. This has pushed many brands to pick causes that are inherently intertwined in its business and mission. For example, the commitment by Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) to be better in finding ways to be sustainable and environmental friendly, has put itself front and center. H&M offers a 15 percent discount to any customer if they recycle garments in their stores.

Since 2013, this initiative by H&M has amassed more than 39,000 tons of collected garments, which equates in fabric to 196 million T-shirts. Although this initiative has not been heavily…