The retail industry was hard hit by COVID. Some retailers, those with robust eCommerce sites built on modern technology were able to quickly make changes to pivot their operations to adapt to restrictions, meet new customer needs, and generate sales. Others with more antiquated systems or no eCommerce platform at all lost revenue and customers while having to deal with huge stock inventory surpluses.
There are signs of recovery. Consumers are embracing the new options – from curbside pickup and contactless delivery, to buy online pickup in-store – that many retailers now offer.
Even though consumers were quick to adapt to the changes brought on by COVID – and many eCommerce-resistant consumers discovered the joys of online shopping there is no doubt, brick-and-mortar stores will always have a place in
the retail landscape.
As Kirk Goldman, Vice President, Business Strategy at Toshiba told Retail Dive before the COVID Crisis, “The physical store, and being able to see, smell, touch things, is still vitally important to the majority of the economy. Retailer’s challenge lies in enabling shoppers to transition their online shopping behaviours into stores while also deploying in-store technology that captures more nuanced data and insights about that shopping behaviour.”
“mediocre retail has no future” – stressing that retailers can prepare for the future by, “creating an in-store experience as seamless as the one their customers get online so that customers can focus on what they came for: the satisfying experience of making an in-store purchase.”
In the post COVID world – it will become even more imperative for retailers to embed technology into their brick-and-mortar environment.
Our May article will deep dive into how 2020 forever changed the retail landscape, exploring how some retailers were able to thrive while others failed and more importantly, providing solutions to ensure you can be prepared in the future, no matter what it brings.
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