Against the backdrop of major changes in the retail sector for the last two years, the industry is constantly transforming its strategies and operating models to become more adaptable to technology and enhance consumer and shopper experience.
The modern retail era is being redefined by evolving behaviour, where business is being re-imagined with a ‘home cocooned consumer’ being habituated to ‘subscribe’ services and consider ‘convenience’ as a critical element to have many-a-things being delivered to their doorsteps, from food and drinks to razors, candles, medicines, and more, according to a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (DTTILLP) and Mapic India.
Rajat Wahi, Partner, DTTILLP, said, “Today’s consumer is a convenience-craver, who is looking for value, instant gratification, range, and assortment across any channels he/she shops at. Covid-19-induced lockdowns over the past 18 months have dramatically changed shopper journeys and behaviours.”
Apparently, new technology and increased connectivity led to innovation in shopping trends, such as contactless delivery, curbside pick-up, Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), and Try On In-store and Ship to Home (TOSSH).
Also, accelerated adoption of the omnichannel strategy, digitised operations, and a strong focus on sustainable business practices are among the major trends happening in the retail sector.
Phygital Is The Future
While the world continues to flip between lockdowns and phygital presence, companies are adapting to a new avatar of a modern-day shopper where Retail 4.0 will be the ultimate convergence of the traditional and online channels, experts believe.
From online research and buying to increased preference for comfort and digital payments/e-wallets, home delivery and ease of returns, internet-based shopping trends are likely to continue even as malls and shopping centres open up, the report further stated.
Industry experts say that technology acceleration and adoption across the consumer and retail industries will continue to play a critical aspect for surviving and thriving in the new normal and coping with the rapid changes.
In addition, retail businesses will need to continue to focus on the in-store and online customer experience-led engagement to cater to a new, tech-savvy, and conscious consumer. Also, successful brands will have to maintain the right balance between the online and offline channels as we move ahead in a data-driven economy.