The pandemic changed the retail landscape in a big way. Find out what retail industry experts have to say about the trends that will continue into 2021 and what the outlook is for retailers.
- The pandemic has changed the way Americans shop, and many of these changes are likely to carry over into 2021.
- Automation technology and social media trends will continue to play a role in the evolution of the retail industry.
- More retailers will offer personal shopping services, and social media influencers will remain relevant.
- This article is for small business owners who want to know what retail experts expect to see in 2021.
mediaindonesia.net– As we started a new year, retailers and entrepreneurs who want to open retail stores, ask how they can better position their small businesses for a prosperous year. While it is impossible to perfectly predict the future, here are the retail trends that the experts in the sector with which we speak, we hope to see in 2021.
Technology will continue to change the retail industry.
The generalized stops of public spaces throughout the country, including retail locations, non-essential sales establishment owners are wondering how they could keep the lights on. Although many were able to guarantee the financing of the government, adapt to the new security guidelines and take their online stores, many other closed. As a result, the way people shop may never be the same again.
Online shopping is more important than ever
Buying goods and services online is nothing new, but the pandemic has accelerated the pace at which entrepreneurs have opened e-commerce stores and consumers have shopped online. According to a survey conducted earlier this year by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the NetComm Suisse E-Commerce Association, online sales “increased between 6 and 10 percentage points in most categories. of products.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to a more digital world,” said UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi. “The changes we make now will have lasting effects when the world economy starts to recover.”
While there has been growth in many industries, the researchers warned that spending per buyer “fell sharply” as buyers “were focusing more on the essentials.” The study suggests that businesses that can operate online, regardless of industry, will be able to thrive in 2021.
“Companies that put e-commerce at the heart of their business strategies are ready for the post-COVID-19 era,” said Yomi Kastro, founder and CEO of Inveon. “There is a huge opportunity for industries that are even more accustomed to physical purchases, such as pharmaceuticals and rapidly changing consumer goods.”
As e-commerce grows, brick-and-mortar stores will be refurbished
With online shopping continuing to be a driving factor, businesses of all sizes may be forced to reconsider how to set up their physical locations. In previous years, the idea of the most successful companies was to start from a single location before expanding to neighboring areas.
Melissa Gonzalez, retail strategist and CEO of The Lionesque Group, believes brands and retailers will “take a more holistic look” at their brick-and-mortar stores this year. This approach, she says, will create a “more diverse approach to how they present themselves nationally and globally”.
“The allocation of capital will have a staggered process where there will be emblematic destinations in places where there is evidence that a physical presence is justified or critical, 12 months of the year,” said González. “The flagship venues will be complemented by smaller format specialty venues anchored to a specific purpose or localized effort. The partnership with department stores will also continue to reinvent itself as they restructure and reposition themselves as collaborative markets and there will be a greater dedication to pop-in-shop retail. ”
Small businesses will need to consider technology upgrades
Although some Americans were able to work from home in 2020, it wasn’t an option for retailers who rely on foot traffic. Early in vaccine distribution, Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software, believes companies will need to consider emerging technologies to help them manage on-site staff.
“An hourly workforce has unique pay rules, labor regulations, compliance obligations and scheduling needs, [while] the pandemic has added new safety requirements, unpredictable staff availability and evolving regulations, which are pushing companies to update. their obsolete tools, “he said. said. “Businesses need technology that can support their growing needs and evolve with their business. The pandemic has increased the adoption of new digital technologies, which can save organizations money by increasing efficiency and improving business. employee experience “.
In-person purchases are still pending
Given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, public health experts around the world have advised against shopping in person in 2020. With the launch of the vaccine, people will begin returning to public commercial spaces. Until then, in-person purchases will largely remain on hold as consumers prefer to shop for items online and pick them up in-store, often on the sidewalk.
Personal shopping services will increase
One way retail stores have dealt with declining foot traffic has been through the practice of personal shopping, in which store employees shop for the customer. Whether it means sending the company a list of items the customer needs or shopping with the employee using basic mobile video technology, this purchasing method has been adopted by many big brands.
Deb Gabor, CEO of Sol Marketing and author of Irrational Loyalty: Building a Brand That Thrives in Turbulent Times, hopes small businesses will continue to offer this type of service after the pandemic ends. “This was a trend we were starting to see before COVID and the pandemic has accelerated the adoption process,” he said. “Small and local retailers are particularly suited to these types of personalized experiences and lead the category.”
Price automation will continue to increase
The price of an item is usually determined by a number of factors, but in recent years, more and more companies are relying on automated technology to ensure that prices are set correctly.
Omri Traub, CEO and founder of Popcart, predicts that automation will play an even more important role in this field in the future, indicating “a new wave of companies” providing such automation solutions as a service. Once implemented, he said, the technology will provide “low implementation costs and [reduced] operating costs.”
“With the continuing shortage of workers in select domains, investment in automation will continue to increase,” said Traub. “Examples for small businesses include online pricing automation to balance profitability and revenue growth, as well as inventory management systems to ensure the perfect amount of inventory is at hand.”
Marketing and customer engagement will see changes
How busy customers in small retail stores had already begun to move to a mobile-friendly online model, and the pandemic has accelerated it. Social media will continue to introduce brands to customers
Social media is a major driver of the customer journey and online sales for many businesses.
As we move closer to 2021, experts expect hashtags and meme culture to play as important a role as traditional advertising methods for successful small businesses and their younger consumers.
One way this will happen, Gabor said, is through “creative social commerce,” where platforms like TikTok and Instagram drive online shopping.
“Social shopping, like TikTok and Instagram, gained momentum in 2020 and is likely to continue to grow rampant in 2021 among smart retailers,” he said. “There is also more creative social programming emerging, like what the neighborhood boutique in New York Caravan NYC is doing. Their new business model is to host an Instagram “variety show”, complete with entertainment programming and sponsors of brands / merchandise that sell their products through the show on the social platform, offering Upper East Side retailers a new audience and a new channel to promote their brands.
Influencers will continue to play an important role
Love them or hate them, influencers will continue to be relevant to almost any retail brand. With companies highlighting authentic voices, Gabor said, consumers will be able to look to those people for leadership.
“At a time when consumers value the honesty, sincerity and truth of the brands they love, influencer programs must emphasize similar values,” she said. “In 2021, brands will continue to consider their micro-influencer campaigns to focus on influencers who genuinely align with the values and beliefs of both their brands and their consumers to ensure those influencer campaigns have a meaningful impact.” .