Ever since online shopping has become a reality, retail has become very digital and online-driven. More and more brick-and-mortar stores have started adopting elements of the internet experience to stimulate customers to continue to visit them. They also played to the power that in-person experience offers, like a more personal level of shopping.
However, the COVID19 pandemic has impacted the way each industry trend plays out in the year 2021, and retail has been hit especially hard. That led to a widespread decrease in employment and famous brands vanishing from shopping centers across the globe.
On the other hand, online retail has flourished more rapidly than ever before because buyers choose to stay safely indoors, and shipping methods have become highly sophisticated.
So, here are the most common 2021 retail industry trends that will probably be present in the following period as well, since the pandemic and other factors will continue to influence buyer’s habits.
Independent retailers are able to connect with buyers locally, plus they can also have differential reach by selling online apart from preserving their local presence. Nowadays, buyers make almost half of their monthly purchases online, and retailers meet customers’ needs, with around 80% selling online currently.
Many retailers are modifying their business models because going online improves the odds of success. In fact, online sales account for about 60% of all revenue for retailers. Nevertheless, changing your business model comes with some risks as well, because online marketplaces don’t always guarantee success.
That’s why today, every retail store owner is considering having retail insurance, sometimes even before they start selling online. Because, It’s always important to protect your retail business liabilities as lost, stolen, and damaged packages, violation of ADA, breach of your supply contract, etc.
Almost 75% of all shoppers prefer home delivery rather than picking up if shopping online. Despite that, just 40% of all retailers offer same-day delivery. Although shipping delays and supply chain problems are more usual now, local businesses have the possibility to get products delivered faster than big eCommerce players by providing same-day delivery.
Local retailers are closer to buyers and they are able to set up the required systems to get products to customers quicker which will lead to increased sales. If you start providing something such as same-day delivery, it will encourage bigger basket sizes.
Even though the Suez Canal blockade lasted only a couple of days in March this year, it detained almost $10 billion worth of merchandise. That highlights the liability of global supply chains to outside forces beyond our control.
The reconsideration of global supply chains has been ongoing for a certain period. Companies and governments continue to look for weak points in their supply chains, enhance resilience, and prevent disturbances. For example, the global chip shortage left thousands of brand-new cars and gadgets unfit to be sold for months.
With the emergence of globalization, supply chains have generally been optimized for both effectiveness and cost. However, the events of the last year have shown the retail sector that agility and resilience are just as significant.
One more retail industry trend which is becoming highly significant to buyers is having a personalized shopping experience. Personalization in the retail sector mostly includes retailers giving buyers suggestions based on their location, gender, taste, previous searches, or order history.
Additionally, some retailers also create personalized experiences via different services. That involves chat-bots that strengthen customer engagement and interaction, text messages which offer updates on orders, etc. Furthermore, the rise of personalization has led the way for applying even more advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence.
Retailers who want to offer buyers a unique and personalized shopping experience need to invest in innovative technologies and look beyond standard personalization strategies.
Another common retail industry trend is the capability to access new markets and channels. Technological innovations have made it simpler for retailers to access global and emerging markets that would otherwise be hard to reach.
Retailers aren’t restricted to one location or market anymore and lots of them can expand their operations internationally by implementing an efficient digital strategy. By implementing a digital-first strategy, retailers can move beyond their existing borders and access new and emerging markets in the interest of increasing their audience reach.
The retail sector is reconsidering each detail of the shopping experience, redefining not only the shopping and selling but the unbelievable advantages that local and independent retailers have at the moment. The rise of local and independent stores is the future of the retail sector.