2021 Retail trends2021 Retail trends

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The Covid-19 health crisis has deeply impacted the retail industry by accentuating major underlying trends, including the increase in online purchases by customers who, in fact, see more clearly the benefits of e-commerce. The natural consequence of the drop in attendance at physical stores. How will such an important sector for the global economy adapt to these changes? To try to answer this question, we are going to observe some retail trends for the coming years.

1- Omnichannel

In an all-digital world, the different channels (digital and physical) tend to feed each other. Thus, several possibilities have emerged such as:

  • Online appointment [2]: to respect a maximum number of people present, the store offers appointment booking online or by scanning a QRCode on its storefront.
  • The live shopping stream[3]: a retailer launches a live stream to showcase new products in his store while chatting to customers who follow the stream.
  • Click-and-collect: 64% of consumers use this order pick-up mode[4].

2- The in-store experience

Sanitary guidelines have forced retailers to adapt and reinvent the in-store customer experience. Here are some trends that well stay after their installation.

  • Sustainable retail[5]: in 2020 customers became aware of the ecological problematics, so they want to change the way they buy and buy more ecological product, second-hand products, sustainable products…
  • Waiting in store: retailers must organize the checkout process while respecting physical distancing and limiting the time spent in the store[6].
  • Contactless payment: no need to touch the payment terminal or the change, retailers now accept contactless payment by credit card, smartphone, or a connected object[7].
  • Image analysis: thanks to cameras installed in the store, this technology can improve the customer experience by noticing stock shortage in the shelves[8], counting the number of customers, studying consumer behavior, noticing the checkouts available…

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