Lockdowns, travel bans, and retail closures due to the pandemic has motivated nearly 150 million people to shop online for the first time. While China is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s largest retail market this year, other economies are not far behind in contributing to the whopping e-retail revenue projection of USD 4.88 trillion in 2021.
Improving shopping experiences by leveraging omnichannel avenues and removing bottlenecks in payment processes by utilizing big data & advanced analytics continue to be the major theme for 2021 as well. Select themes highlighted below.
- Flexible Payment Options – Offering a range of payment options such as cash, card, cryptocurrencies, mobile payments for the customers with the aim to attract and retain customers is a must-have in retail 2021.
- E-retailers work with Affirm, an Online pay-in-installments startup to provide installment option along with the traditional payment methods for their customers. Read more>>
- Hyper personalization, i.e., showing individualized offers, product recommendations, and other relevant content to the consumers based on their previous actions, demographic and other personal data has spread across the retail value chain.
- Stitch Fix offers a truly personalized online clothes shopping experience for its users without using heavy algorithms. Read more>>
- Online-Merge-Offline is where retailers use technology extensively and tap into benefits of both offline and e-commerce platform to reduce cost and delivery time.
- Alibaba’s Hema, a cashless fine-dining supermarket chain, combined their e-commerce, restaurant, supermarket and distribution center so that customers can stroll around the store, smartphone in hand, select products of choice and have them delivered to their doorstep. Read more>>
- Omnichannel retail with focus on providing seamless customer experience whether the client is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop or in a brick-and-mortar store continues to be the dominating theme in retail.
- Every time a Starbucks user pays with a Starbucks card, via a physical card or mobile, that user accumulates reward points. The linked app also allows the coffee drinker to find stores near them, send gifts, order drinks ahead of time for a quicker experience. Read more>>
- Spotify, too, has jumped on the omnichannel bandwagon with their Starbucks integration. Consumers can view what songs are playing in that specific store and add them to their playlists. Read more>>
AI, Advanced analytics & payment technologies will be the most profound technology for next gen retail. They will fundamentally alter every aspect of E-retail. Service Providers can target Voice Recognition, Artificial intelligence, Blockchain, and AR-VR related engagements.