The year 2020 has been quite challenging, it has pushed every sector to re-imagine and re-innovate ways of the business. The unprecedented change has led marketers to adapt to the shifting consumer patterns and technological advancements. Today, a soundproof strategy, good data intelligence and centralized marketing measurement platforms/ tools are essential to maintain a competitive edge for any marketeer.
In 2021, retailers are expected to see dependency on technology to a great extent, from the use of omnichannel marketing to AI-Driven analytics to understand customer preferences, these new trends are going to shape the retail sector only for the better.
Here are some of the retail trends to look forward to in 2021:
Go Omnichannel: Customers prefer option of multiple channels to explore, review and then make an informed purchase, based on their comfort level. Retailers are capitalizing by offering result driven solutions for both online and offline retail stores. The year 2021, could see coming of more mature technologies using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to strengthen the shopping experience in stores. These technological solutions can be used to make the shopping experience more interactive and engaging.
Personalization: When it comes to retail, consumers find personalized experiences more appealing that in turn leads to higher conversions. Customer analytics like their location, browsing history, gender, search patterns, etc. play an important role in creating a favourable customized shopping experience. It helps in recommending products and promotions as per the need of the customer. Personalisation of products along with service, will also be another trend to go after.
Technology for Customer Service: Retailers have come up with some innovative ways to offer better services to their customers. The use of technology helps in enhancing the customer service experience. 2020 has seen a large number of technology enabled customer service innovations like shopping through Whatsapp, text messages, social media platforms and e-commerce portals. Technology has also been used effectively for customer redressal. It provides a faster and more efficient way to address the customer queries and helps the brand stay connect with their customers.
Sales Models for More Convenient Purchase: Even though customer base has largely shifted towards e-commerce, physical stores are here to stay. The experience of ‘trying and buying’ is still preferred and it is only due to the current situation that there has been a corresponding shift. Today, retailers are looking for sales models that can make buying convenient. This year, we witnessed the growing trend of home visit services, drive thru facilities as well pop-up stores to offer a more convenient shopping experience to customers. The excitement to ‘See it, Like it, Buy it’ still exists and similar models are likely to prevail for years to come.
AI-Driven Analytics to Understand Customer Preferences: Artificial Intelligence has gained an immense popularity among the marketers and sales professional. It has proved to be a boon during the pandemic and helped in providing an enhanced retail experience. The best part of AI is that it keeps learning and improving from the data it analyses which helps retailers to understand the changing preferences and behaviour and offer products and services accordingly.
While the retail sector experienced a change this year that was far from imagination, it has given all of us an opportunity to think beyond the obvious and enabled us to adapt to change faster than ever before. 2020 saw the retail sector come together to sustain and grow.