There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has shifted our way of life drastically.
The pandemic has predominantly affected the way we socialize and interact with others. Mask wearing has become second nature to most, and large gatherings indoors will never be the same again. But COVID has also changed the way we shop.
Keep reading as we unpack a few retail industry trends that are emerging in a post-covid landscape.
Ecommerce is King…
This trend is fairly predictable, considering that consumers weren’t allowed to leave their homes for most of last year. The beginning of 2020 saw e-commerce peak at its highest rate yet.
It’s since slowed down a bit, but it continues to steadily grow and shape the direction of general retail practices.
Although we’re beginning to get more comfortable leaving our homes to shop, the pandemic led many businesses to realize that online shopping is the future of retail. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2021 around 2.4 billion digital buyers globally.
Physical Stores Are Still Important
While eCommerce is booming, according to the National Retail Foundation, 80% of shopping still happens in stores. This means that physical locations are still as important as ever.
This means that the pandemic may have shifted retail trends, but commercial property sales are still relatively stable (take a look at these retail properties in Hillsborough County for reference).
The interior layout of physical stores has also had to shift drastically to fit a post-COVID landscape. Shoppers are no longer as interested in browsing as they were before. Getting in and out of a store as quickly as possible has become the norm.
This is why products should be safely spaced out (in accordance with social distancing) and your selection should be as easy to navigate as possible.
There’s also the need to know that your physical retail space is clean and trustworthy. So sanitizing stations and signs detailing how you keep your store safe are also becoming a top priority.
This also means that retailers need to rethink their payment systems. Self-checkouts, contactless payments, and virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular in physical locations. This is so that consumers are able to minimize physical contact with retail staff.
Digital Marketing is Essential
A lot of retail has moved online, so what does this mean for marketing? With more and more consumers relying on e-commerce and spending more time online in general, digital marketing for retailers is essential to master.
Consumers can’t visit your online store if they don’t know it exists. With tons of businesses vying for the top spot in search engine results, a good digital marketing strategy has become a must.
Digital marketing strategies need to be more detail-oriented and sophisticated to draw the right consumers to your website and put you above the competition.
Retail Industry Trends: The Bottom Line
The retail industry is already beginning to dust itself off and get back on its feet. These retail industry trends show how retailers are embracing the future of e-commerce, as well as adapting physical stores for a safer environment.
For more trends and entrepreneurial insights, be sure to check out our business section!