What is the future of retail in the post-covid era? We all know that the Pandemic wreaked havoc on practically every industry on the planet. This matter has been addressed in the press, on various TV shows, blogs, and elsewhere for over a year. So, let’s take a look at the good side of this circumstance this time. While physical retail has struggled over the past year (or longer), e-commerce has exploded. Global e-commerce sales increased by 27.6% in 2020.
Needless to say, the inability to go to the market and buy what is required constrains such a large leap. According to ‘Google’s guidance for retailers and brands in 2021,’ more than half of those polled stated they conduct internet research before purchasing a product. Apart from not having to leave the house, e-commerce has another significant advantage in this scenario. Yes, we’re discussing more precise marketing opportunities. For example, during the research stage, you can capture the attention of a potential consumer.
The events of 2020 demonstrated that in any firm, it is important to be prepared for any force majeure. The retail industry, of course, is no exception.
Regardless of other facts, there are two fundamental causes.
- Self-isolation, of course, had a significant impact on the increase in e-commerce. As previously said, many people began making online purchases as a result of their inability to leave their homes. As a result, we might conclude that such a development jump was unavoidable.
- Many employees have gained freedom from their physical workplace as a result of remote employment. As a result, during the pandemic, a considerable number of people relocated to smaller cities or villages to be closer to family or to get away from the bustle of the larger cities. This means that these individuals will seek out things that they are accustomed to in large cities.
What can you expect next?
The rise of D2C is an interesting side effect of the e-commerce boom. D2C stands for direct-to-consumer. It’s a retail model, just as B2B and B2C. Despite this, the D2C model allows manufacturers to sell their products directly to consumers.
Payments are made electronically.
The move to electronic payments in the United States has been dramatically expedited, according to Mastercard Recovery Insights. It happened not only as a result of increased online sales, but people now prefer contactless payments even in grocery stores. In this way, the epidemic contributed to a year-long delay in the switch from cash to electronic payments.
Processes of shopping are being digitized.
- Voice Search
Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and so forth… The list of voice assistants is endless. According to SafeAtLast, in 2020, approximately 10.8% of digital customers will utilize Amazon Alexa for online buying. Furthermore, Alexa is used by 18% of millennials for voice-assisted purchasing. Isn’t this a compelling incentive to have your online store ready for voice searches?
- AR/VR technologies
We’ll go over this in more detail later, but it’s worth noting that AR/VR technologies have almost become essential components of mCommerce applications nowadays.
- Virtual assistants
Robot helpers in online retailers can make your customers’ lives considerably easier. Robots can assist people at any time of day, whether they have questions or need assistance with something (or night). Previously, those assistants could only aid with minor concerns, but things have gotten a lot more complicated. Today’s robot assistants can aid your consumers in calculating shipping times, selecting clothing sizes, determining product availability, and more. Having one of those could also save you money on salary for multiple people who execute the same tasks.
What can you do to keep up?
Following the preceding guidance, the most obvious recommendation is to invest in an e-commerce application or an e-commerce website for your company. With an online store, you can provide your customers with a variety of handy purchasing options. Online payments, for example, can address today’s need for social distance. Contactless delivery or curbside pickup are the same.
If you have a flexible budget, you might consider investing in both a mobile app and a website to reach a larger audience.
AR try-on service is another great feature you might include in your app. This trend started long before the pandemic, but we can’t deny that it became particularly useful amid self-isolation. And we feel it will last a long time. The AR try-on service can be used to purchase not only new shoes or clothes but even a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture or decor from another city or country. As a result, the only limit to this function’s capabilities is your imagination.
Optimization of delivery
Streamline the delivery procedure. Fast and free delivery has recently become a significant competitive advantage. It’s only natural that while deciding between two stores, most purchasers consider which one offers the best shipping terms.
Consultations through the internet
Due to pandemic-related restrictions, internet consultations took over from conventional stores and offices. For example, you may use the “Get virtual consultation” button before purchasing anything from the website. Following that, store employees conduct a thorough product consultation. They may clarify all of the client’s concerns, demonstrate product operation, and even try on the clothes if we’re talking about clothing. According to data from companies that have already implemented this function, around 30% of consultations result in a sale.
According to the Mastercard analysis, economies that adapted to digital technology first have a greater advantage today. So, don’t put your company in jeopardy, and be ready for any unexpected.