Retail Technology: Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2021
Transformation in the digital realm has completely reshaped shopping, online experiences, and even map customer expectations for the physical stores. The retail sector has been subject to a plethora of challenges over the past few years: starting from the issues rooted in the emergence of e-commerce to the onset of the COVID pandemic. It had overturned the growth trajectory for the sector, enabling it to introduce unparalleled technological innovations.
Suffice it to say that there is much to be done for retailers as they endeavor to find their way through the market and continue their business growth. And, while it was important to consider these developments are taking us is answered by identifying the technological trends that guided us through 2021 and will continue to pave the way in years to come. Now, a lot of things may come in handy at this point, but nothing will prove to be quite as valuable as the latest trends
For your reference, I have put together top tech trends that will change the future of the retail industry for years to come. The retail sector has been subject to a plethora of challenges over the past few years: starting from the issues rooted in the emergence of e-commerce to the onset of the COVID pandemic. So, read on and see how you can leverage them in 2021 and beyond.
- Foster customer loyalty: There is no easy way to put it, but one simply cannot deny the reality that the retail world today is cut-throat and how! One of the key culprits is e-commerce, of course; nonetheless, that doesn’t change the reality that in such a market, achieving and sustaining customer loyalty is no less than a Herculean task. This makes things even more difficult for retailers as they are struggling to just survive. Nonetheless, a business must put together game plans that will allow them to foster high levels of customer loyalty, so much so that buyers are inclined to return to the same retailer, even if it is online.
- Automation: In the retail space we can take countless different forms. For starters, there is the automation of purchases, which is a fancy way of referring to subscription-style offerings. For example, a grocery retailer could allow shoppers to set up individual shopping lists that are sent to them periodically. There is marketing automation as well, wherein retailers gather requisite and critically important data and then glean important insights from said data. These insights, in turn, can help drive automated, data-backed marketing campaigns for the retailer.
- Virtual customer engagement: Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit, customers have reduced the frequency with which they step out of the house. The rates of visiting retail stores have dropped even more. However, retailers can easily beat this particular problem by figuring out how they can engage and connect with their target audience online.
Now, that can imply different strategies for different retailers, based on the business’ unique characteristics, goals, etc. Perhaps you can offer virtual community events such as workshops, classes, or maybe even individual consults. You will have to pick your strategy carefully.
The retail sector may seem simple and successful enough to the layman, but the truth remains that the sector has had to struggle quite a bit in the recent past. At first, it was the continually growing threat posed by the world of e-commerce. As if that wasn’t bad enough, then the coronavirus came along, serving yet another critical blow to the retail sector.
However, thanks to technology, not all hope is lost. Plus, there are all the trends, such as the ones discussed above, to help retailers not only figure their way out through the challenges currently posed by the sector but also thrive. To surmise what we have learned thus far: digital transformation in the retail industry is not merely a fancy add-on anymore. It is a must and a careful technology integration strategy, driven by the latest trends, will go a long way in helping retailers sustain growth.
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