Five Trends that will Shape the Retail Industry in 2021
Undoubtedly, we can say that the retail sector is going through significant changes. From marketing strategies to customer’s preferences to social media to innovative technology tools- businesses have to work on many aspects to survive in this changing business environment.
Today, disruption has impacted almost every business operation as the relationship between consumers and brands has changed with time. Retail business owners have been experiencing a radical shift over the past few years. Due to customer’s expectations, the broad scope of the Internet-driven market, and the rise of new tools and technology, the retail sector has emerged with so many things.
In the above chart, you can see, “digitization” approach has been adopted across all the actors. Today, digital tools and modern technologies are reshaping shopping, online experiences, and even customer preferences. Moreover, corona pandemic changed our health and regular life, and the way business operates. Undoubtedly, the global economy is shaking, but it has also brought many technological innovations that enable the retail sector to expand its business reach. (source)
Since online shopping and delivery became a reality, the retail sector has become increasingly digital and internet-driven. Conventional stores have adopted digital channels to attract customers and deliver personalized experiences to build strong connections.
Innovative Retail Trends to Watch in 2021
In the year 2020, the retail industry experienced significant change, large-scale disruption as customers chose to stay inside homes and order everything online. People are moving more towards online from booking a taxi to ordering food to other essential products. Now retail business owners must determine how they can transform their existing business model and take advantage of these changes to grow their business during this challenging time.
The retail industry has faced unprecedented changes in 2020 due to a noble pandemic. In this context of quakey change, more and more retailers have deployed digital solutions and modern technology tools to improve the overall customer experience.
Social commerce, AI and ML, robotics, IoT, AR/VR technology, etc., are the notable changes that the retail sector will experience in the coming year. Now let’s see trends that will shape the retail industry in 2021.
# Social Commerce
According to eMarketer, more and more business owners use social media as an integral part of their business strategy.
Over the last few years, social media outlets have contributed more, and marketers consider them an efficient marketing tool. There is constant surgeon online shopping and ordering; this trend will be here to stay for a reason as it offers comfort and saves time. Especially, if we talk about last year, due to the pandemic and closure of retail stores, as per the research conducted by Marketing Week, 41% of customers currently ordering essential products online that they would typically buy in physical stores.
These days, social media users are surging, and social commerce is the new technique or approach that offers people to experience shopping on a social media platform. It means if users want to order anything, they don’t need to click through a third-party website; they can make a purchase right from a social media app or website.
No doubt, social media channels are one of the best ways to market your retail business. If you need to grow traffic to your conventional retail business, social media has entered a new shopping era.
Today, online food delivery business is growing, and more than 57% of customers choose restaurants based on social recommendations. If you are engaged with the online food market and want to drive more people to your online restaurant ordering system, social media promotion is a low-budget and best way to get the word out. Moreover, platforms like Facebook and Instagram enable retail store owners to sell their products for free.
According to a Social Lab report, more than 62% of online shoppers and diners read food-related recommendations from their Facebook followers. In 2021, we should expect to see social eCommerce become an even more critical part of overall digital customers.
# Omnichannel Marketing
Today, the retail store owner is much more than running a physical store; it encompasses an extensive range of mobile commerce, social commerce, and eCommerce. Retail business owners are trying to follow all those activities that grab customer attention. Omnichannel retailing gives entrepreneurs the chance to interact with customers and market their products on multiple channels.
# Retailers Must Offer Multiple Payment Options
Due to the pandemic, contactless payment is trending, more and more customers are using it than ever before. If you have a retail store and want to take it online, you need to integrate multiple payment options such as PayPal, NFC payments, and digital wallets. It increases sales and builds customer loyalty. Latest reports from the National Retail Federation said that 57% of customers would continue using digital payment even pandemic gets over.
# AR-powered Shopping Experience
Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. Due to the pandemic, people’s tendency towards online ordering and shopping increases, resulting in a rapid rise in AR and VR technology demand. This technology facilitates customers by virtually interacting with products and services. According to IBM’s U.S.Retail Index, the corona pandemic has surged the shift to digital shopping by roughly three years.
# People Seek Faster or Same-day Delivery
As we have said earlier, people’s inclination towards online delivery has increased as it keeps them safe and saves time. It seems like the customer’s expectations towards shipping keep evolving. From real-time order tracking to same-day delivery options, their needs and preferences keep changing with time.
You may get shocked, but the latest report from PwC revealed that around 88% of customers are willing to pay more for same-day or faster delivery. From Amazon’s Prime Air to drone technology to robot delivery- delivery is getting shorter, so people’s expectations are.
2020 has changed many things, including consumer’s shopping behaviour, the way the business operates, and whatnot. Above are the significant trends that every retailer must consider to maintain a strong presence in the 2021 marketplace.
Don’t get confused in the chock full of buzzwords and trends; above are the significant trends that will reshape the retail industry. In short, it’s all about personalization, localization, and customization that customers seek from brands.
Five Trends that will Shape the Retail Industry in 2021