Industry experts have expected the retail landscape to transform for quite some time. Although online retail shopping continued to grow over the last five years, it skyrocketed exponentially in 2020 due to the global pandemic. When it comes to shopping habits, consumers are looking for accessibility and efficiency.
This shopping habit in mind will play a large role in the retail trends consumers can expect to see this year. Retailers, take note. 2021 is the time to advance your operations to fit the needs of your customers. Here are what retail trends you can expect to see within the industry.
Social Commerce Will Surge Sales
It’s no secret that the pandemic had drastically changed the way consumers shop. A study from Marketing Week showed that 41% of customers said they were currently shopping online for things they would typically buy in-store. Amazon and other digital giants are commonplace for consumers of all ages. However, there is a rise in social commerce for Millennials and Gen Z.
Social commerce removes the need for searching a third-party website. Instead, guests can purchase directly in their apps. You may have seen this come in many forms throughout 2020, including Shopify’s partnership with TikTok and the introduction of Facebook Shops, but that is only the beginning.
With social commerce, it has never been easier to make a purchase. Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops share notifications of the items you were looking at previously—making it much more likely for users to impulse buy.
Social commerce will grow exponentially in 2021 because consumers are also looking for more ways to connect with brands. Now that brands have canceled in-store events, etc., they have to get creative with how they keep up their presence with shoppers. What better way to stay top-of-mind than with social media?
It’s no longer enough to have a social media presence to market items—retailers must take advantage of selling their items on social media as well.
Retailers Require an Omnichannel Presence
Omnichannel refers to retailers with both a physical and digital presence. It is a contemporary approach to commerce that focuses on designing a cohesive user experience for customers at every touchpoint, which has proven to be necessary this past year.
Some retailers who need to cut costs might move to an online-only business, but that won’t be the case for most companies. Having access to in-person and online has proven to be the most successful option for retailers, and this will continue to be the case moving into 2021. This means that having a stellar technology deck for assured customer experience is paramount for in-store shopping needs. It also means you will have to consider what technology you need for online support like inventory management.
If your business hasn’t made any digital migration moves yet, and you’re still working with a brick-and-mortar, the new year will be the best time to do so. Not only will you expand your potential customer base, but you also open the window of opportunity for shopping to occur even outside of store hours. And who doesn’t want to make money while they’re sleeping?
There are other opportunities this could present for retailers focused on omnichannel advancements. According to an article on Tech Crunch, Amazon sells cashier-less technology for guests to shop without the need for a large staff, which could potentially save retailers more money in the long run. Regardless of how advanced you want your in-person and online presence to be, it is a move that will be critical for success in 2021. The real success lies in your retail technology for these large-scale changes in the industry, so having the proper tools will keep your business operating smoothly.
Livestreaming Enhances Your Brand (And Boosts Business)
Although some customers may argue they prefer to shop in-person, statistics show that livestreaming has become a close option—and it’s giving in-person experiences a run for its money. Livestreaming is the closest option many retailers and brands have to get in front of consumers throughout the pandemic.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently reported that livestream-generated sales are expected to double to $120 billion worldwide in 2021. Why is this important for retailers to consider this year?
The data proves that customers don’t only want to shop online and get a product. Sure, there are a few cases where this will be the case. However, the increased livestreaming demands show that consumers want to feel a connection to the brand, even if they have been loyal customers for decades. As a result, brands and retailers have been incorporating this insight into their marketing strategy. If you haven’t considered this an option for your business, now is the time to rethink your strategy and make room for new opportunities.
The retail trends coming to stores near you might feel like we’re ten years into the future. Going digital and heavily relying on technology is a critical part of your success as a business. Whether you’re a new retail business looking for retail technology or you’re a veteran in the industry, you can expect a learning curve as part of your business plan for the new year. The pandemic has fast-tracked these retail trends to support consumer needs in a unique climate.
Contact Paradise POS today to discover how to bring your business into 2021 with technology needs.