Top 6 Retail Trends Unfolding New Dimensions for Customer Retention
The year 2020 saw the growth of “at home” service in all sectors and retail was on the periphery of the same. After healthcare sectors, retails enticed shoppers back. Consumer behavior was not the same post-pandemic and now they are counting more on remote deliverable services, giving rise to new retail trends.
With growing online sales and internet users we can expect that the retail industry will see shifts with new trends and there will be a long-term acceleration in the retail sector. Most of the new trends in retail focus on “at home” or “remote” services in some or other form. The online shopping and click & collect pattern turned to necessity from just an option. After the pandemic, the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) and payment in installments are rising to provide budget-friendly service to consumers. These practices are the result of the growing concentration of online shoppers and will continue to affect new convenient retail trends.
How Internet Surge is Moulding Retail Practices?
Growing e-commerce and online shopping have restructured brick-and-mortar stores and many retail stores have completely shifted to online services. According to a survey conducted by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), online shopping has increased by 6% to 10 % across most product categories. Internet surge has already changed the retail practices in the following ways:
- Restructured Brick-and-Mortar Stores: Every retail business, small or big, is forced to re-think its physical presence, since consumers’ are in no way coming back to traditional shopping, fully. The locations of stores can become more acceptable at potential locations only.
- Marketing & Customer Engagement has Changed: Consumers have already shifted to online platforms and seek their favorite products there, so retailers have shifted to social media and other online channels. According to the Global Web Index, 54% of shoppers use social media to research products, giving rise to online shopping.
6 Competent in Retail Resonating With Customer Expectation
The retail industry has significantly optimized the continuous flow of goods and services and has learned to use data to improve its business. Retailers pay particular attention to analyze consumer behavior and product reviews. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped retailers analyze automated information and bring the industry closer to its ultimate goal of “low cost, great convenience, and flexible response to demand”.
Some important retail trends to be taken into consideration are:
- Omnichannel Sales: When a consumer experiences a seamless shopping experience on multiple devices like mobile phones, iPad, etc. it is an omnichannel approach. The Mobile-first approach is the top priority for retailers to reach the next level in customer experience.
For an omnichannel approach, understanding buyers’ journey in online shopping practices is important. On buying funnel;
- Consumers first discover your product.
- If they show interest, they might fill a questionnaire or a form to show interest.
- They may also directly reach online shopping sites or an affiliate to get reviews.
- Then place an order after building trust with the product.
This shows the involvement of various platforms i.e., it may be through the browser, mobile phones, tablets, etc. Knowing before execution about what journey they prefer is profitable.
2. BOPIS/ BOPAC: For many retailers, two new click-and-pick methods are rapidly becoming important: Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) and Buy Online, Pick up At Center (BOPAC).
Due to the pandemic shoppers could not enter the store & BOPAC was developed under this situation. The store has created its own outdoor pickup area where online orders can be delivered to customers. This approach can be implemented as a curbside pickup point next to a separate store.
3. Ubiquitous Retail: Ubiquitous computing is the integration of computing in human activities. This technology is an extension of mobile computing based on portable accessing technologies (i.e. cameras, location-based service, etc.), always connected to a network, and linked to web-based multimedia content repositories that adapt the provided contents according to users’ characteristics.
Ubiquitous retail is a new type of distributed retail environment utilizing the latest developments in mobile, wireless technologies, and QR codes to quickly identify and deliver products. It is based on consumers’ prior knowledge of mobile applications and can be enhanced with various functions. This retail practice becomes easy for people who already own smart mobile devices and understand the possible uses of these devices (in terms of accessibility and installation methods and basic functions).
Adopting Innovative Retail Trends Will Provide Competitive Advantage
The question of whether the company should solve the digital transformation no longer arises. All retailers know that they need to change to keep up with the times, and the Covid19 pandemic has emphasized the need for change. Nowadays, retailers are coming across many technological opportunities, but as the demand for precision, retail services such as BOPIS, inventory tracking, etc, continue to grow.
Personalization becomes prominent when it comes to connecting and influencing customers and they do connect when they believe that their interaction with the brand is logically connected. Marketers who consider customer journeys ought to connect easily rather than retailers who just focus on different offers and opportunities. Companies can also work with third parties to help provide these experiences.
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