As things return to normal, the effects of COVID will change the way retailers do business. Here’s the trends we believe are here to stay post COVID:
Buy Online Pickup In-Store
Buy Online Pickup In-Store went from a relatively unknown store feature to a critical function for retailers to have to continue generating in-store revenue. Stores like Best Buy had incredible success with BOPIS and customers looking for a quick shopping experience will continue to use this service. If retailers are able to integrate the mobile and physical store channels while alleviating customer pain points they will find success.
Real Time Inventory Management
COVID-19 put stress on the retail supply chain and adaptability became critical. Real time inventory management - using software to record sales and inventory immediately to react as swiftly as possible to changes. Even moving forward, this type of inventory management will allow retailers to make smarter decisions on products and reorders. Real time inventory management enhances the customer experience by making sure products are in stock and keeps excess inventory out of stores freeing up space for higher demand products.
Enhancing the consumer shopping experience
Customers expect more out of the shopping experience than they ever have before. The brands succeeding are the ones adapting and offering a frictionless experience across every channel the customer chooses to shop. Personalization of web content and offers alongside delivering strong in-store customer service are great acquisition and retention strategies. BOPIS, home delivery, and a strong mobile/in-store integration are other ways to increase customer retention
If retailers hadn’t invested in mobile development, they are realizing quickly they need to. According to the PYMNTS' 2020 Remote Payments Study, 72% of customers use mobile devices to browse or shop in-store. Customers want a frictionless shopping experience and being able to browse in real-time and tell if a product is in stock is essential. Mobile shopping will only continue to grow and brands have the opportunity to be a first mover and distinguish themselves from competitors as well as acquire new customers if they invest in the digital experience.
Integrating digitally to create the most convenient and frictionless customer experience will be key to succeeding in the new era of retail. Brands have the opportunity to turn one-time customers into loyal customers and convenience across all channels will be a big factor in that.