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Retail Trends in 2021 and Technology Trends

No one working in the retail industry today had ever seen a year like 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic upended every aspect of our lives and retailers were rocked by unexpected challenges. That said, 2021 looks to be a better year for retailers, especially the back half of the year from where Trends in Retail started.

Trends in Retail going to see in 2021:

  1. Lockdown Fatigue
  2. E-Commerce Continues
  3. Social Commerce
  4. Faster Delivery
  5. Artificial Intelligence
  6. Spending Shifts
  7. Conscious Consumerism

1. Lockdown Fatigue

It may take months for vaccines to be widely distributed and local restrictions to ease. But it will happen and when it does, watch for consumers to cautiously re-engage with brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. As lockdown fatigue comes to a head, retailers have an opportunity to remind consumers of all the things that make physical retail so special. Brands that embrace the concept of retailtainment will be positioned to win back consumers starved for the social aspects of shopping in an actual store.

2. E-Commerce Continues in 2021 as a trends in Retail

Brick and mortar retail may have brighter days ahead but there’s no denying that eCommerce became deeply ingrained in consumer behavior in 2020. Research suggests this behavior change will be permanent for many consumers. A survey of online grocery shoppers found that 90% will continue using e-commerce tools after the pandemic restrictions are lifted and only 7% expect to go back to their old way of buying groceries. E-Commerce is old and emerging trends in retail and also continue after 2021.

E-Commerce | futureyan

3. Social Commerce

Perhaps the hottest subset of the e-Commerce trend is social commerce. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are aggressively rolling out features that enable consumers to browse and buy products while engaged in social media. Watch for more purchases to occur directly through social media apps — without the need to click through to third-party commerce websites.

4. Faster Delivery

Next-day shipping used to be considered fast. With the pandemic-driven move to curbside pick-up, same-day shipping has become the new gold standard. Soon, even that may not be fast enough. Both Walmart and Target are expanding their express delivery options, cutting delivery times to as little as one hour. And the business case is there. A recent survey showed that 88% of consumers are now willing to pay extra for same-day delivery — or faster.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been helping retailers drive supply chain efficiencies and stock exactly the right merchandise. However, AI has officially moved to the front of the house. Chatbots and virtual shopping assistants have surged in popularity online and you can expect to see robotic shopping aids start to appear on the retail sales floor as well.

6. Spending Shifts

Billions of dollars that consumers would normally spend on things like travel and entertainment went toward hard goods in 2020. Certain retail categories like apparel, cosmetics, and accessories also suffered. There was literally nowhere to go and no one to see. As the lockdown starts to lift in 2021 and people become social again, watch for these classic retail categories to improve and feel the trends.

7. Conscious Consumerism

The reasons why retail shoppers become brand loyal also continue to change. 71% of U.S. consumers now prefer to buy from brands that align with their values and 53% seek out green or sustainable products. This trend toward conscious consumerism is especially strong among shoppers age 34 and younger — meaning it will likely remain a key retail trend for years to come. Though the challenges of the pandemic are far from over, 2021 promises to be a year of transition and recovery for the retail industry and continues with trends. These seven trends and more will be on full display in the coming year.

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS 2021 IN RETAIL:

Consumers want to use mobile devices to shop wherever and whenever they like and retailers who are slow to embrace digital technology are being left behind. Let’s take a look at the four technology trends impacting the retail industry right now and the things you need to know about each of them.

1. Touchscreen Tabletop

Whether freestanding or tabletop touchscreens are front and center in many retail settings including car showrooms, restaurants, and stores. You can use this technology to provide real-time product demonstrations share interactive videos and process payments.

Touchscreens can also help you streamline inventory management on the backend, if you want to get your customers engaged and involved touchscreens are the way to go.

Touchscreen Tabletop | futureyan

2. Location Beacons is a new retail trends in 2021

What started out as a novelty is fast becoming a go-to technology as retailers learn how to use proximity marketing to delight their customers. Location-based technologies such as Bluetooth-connected beacons will allow you to deliver personalized offers and promotions to your shoppers in real-time through their smartphones. Macy’s Lord & Taylor and Urban Outfitters are just a few of the brands that are ready using these location beacons.

3. Virtual Assistants

Siri and Alexa are like part of the family for many consumers and virtual assistants are changing the way that we shop as well case in point you can now buy refrigerators that will order groceries for you through Amazon’s Alexa and that’s only the beginning. Voice-based shopping is expected to be a 40 billion dollar technology by 2022 and many experts believe this may be the next disruptive force in retail.

4. Human-Free Interaction

Retailers are using digital technology to deliver better customer service, self-checkout registers are becoming more common every day, in-store package pickup kiosks are a safer option for consumers worried about home delivery theft. Mobile checkout kiosks and mobile payment apps are popular in fast-casual restaurants and Facial Recognition Technology can even be used to enable customers to pay for new purchases automatically.

These are the top four technology trends in retail 2021 but the landscape is changing fast now more than ever success in the retail industry hinges on your ability to stay on top of the latest trends.

Q1. What will retail look like in 2021?

No one working in the retail industry today had ever seen a year like 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic upended every aspect of our lives and retailers were rocked by unexpected challenges. That said, 2021 looks to be a better year for retailers, especially the back half of the year from where Trends in Retail started.

Q2. What will be trending in 2021?

1. Lockdown Fatigue
2. E-Commerce Continues
3. Social Commerce
4. Faster Delivery
5. Artificial Intelligence
6. Spending Shifts
7. Conscious Consumerism

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