Based on the past almost two years of living through the peak and valleys of COVID, retailers have upped their game in terms of the shopper journey. Here are the top five trends that customers can expect when shopping in the new year:
Trend 1: Physical stores remain a critical force for retail shopping
While online commerce will exceed $1 trillion in 2021, the brick and mortar stores will still be very relevant for shopping with 84% of sales coming from physical stores. The stores will become more experiential and will incorporate more technology within the shopping journey. QR codes will be used for product descriptions and information, finding stock or demonstrating product usage. Mobile phones will integrate with in-store shopping for price and stock checking, as well as for checking out seamlessly. Social interaction and shopping, one of Americans’ greatest pastimes, will be even more important as the country rises out of the pandemic next year and consumers will look for more opportunities to cultivate a sense of normalcy.
Trend 2: Bridging the gap between online shopping and in-store experiences
Better experiences between shopping online and visiting stores will be evident as retailers have worked hard over the past two years to build up these capabilities. Shoppers have witnessed this build-up over the past year in a major way with the curbside pickup, buy-online-pick up in store and direct shipping from vendors when stock is not available in stores. Retailers will continue to work on these types of strategies.
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