For many industries, this has been a transformational time—especially for retailers. The pandemic caused a significant shift in consumer habits and forced retailers to pivot and restructure how they supply customers with the goods and services they need. This recent Forbes article lays out the top 8 retail trends retailers should be prepared for:
1. Retail Is Now Omnichannel – The Internet of Things is leading to new methods of shopping that go beyond online channels. Customers will be able to restock using digital devices or even their home appliances.
2. Creating smarter services with AI is critical – Using AI-enabled services will help retailers provide a more customized and unique shopping experience for their customers.
3. We Live in an Experience Economy – Creating immersive experiences will be critical in a post-pandemic world. Using technologies such as augmented reality (AR) will help consumers better visualize products to suit their needs.
4. Making it easy to buy – “See it, like it, buy it.” Making the purchasing process as seamless and as quick as possible for consumers will be crucial for success.
5. Subscription models cut out the middleman – Companies like Dollar Shave Club and Black Socks are pioneering this approach with subscription-based services for razors and socks, delivered on a monthly or quarterly basis. Direct-to-consumer sales can help build deeper relationships between retailers and their customer base.
6. Retailers are exploring autonomous delivery and fulfillment – Retailers can increase the speed and efficiency of product delivery by automating their supply chain and delivery methods using robots, drones, and other advanced technical tools.
7. Supply chain transparency is increasingly crucial – Increasingly, organizations are using blockchain technology to make supply chains more transparent. For example, companies like De Beers Jewelers can now track their diamonds back to the source, including where they are mined, produced, and cut, so customers know the exact origin of their jewelry.
8. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious when making purchasing decisions – This eighth trend ties in closely with the previous one. Consumers want transparency when they’re buying from retailers. They care about sustainability and are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of the products they purchase.