A New Year and a New Approach to Retail: 3 Key Retail Trends for 2021

Happy New Year from all of us at Storesupport!

2020 has been a year of many firsts for manufacturers and retailers alike. From being left with multiple questions to implementing new policies and eventually embracing the new reality – every entity in the retail industry has evolved last year.

As we gear up for the new year, we are sharing three key trends that are shaping retail as we know it!

Physical and Online Retail are Crossing Paths

Previously, you were either shopping online or in-store. There really wasn’t a third option.

Though this has changed and businesses are adopting omnichannel retail in the truest sense. While there is still an option to purchase online, manufacturers and retailers are adding their physical locations to this mix.

Even when brick-and-mortar stores are closed, in certain regions, due to lockdowns, store locations are being used to provide alternative fulfilment options to the customers.

Buy Online – Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS) is a trend that is likely to stick even after the pandemic is over because it offers convenience to customers.

Shopify research shows that there was a 64% increase in BOPIS/curbside pick-ups and a 57% increase in consumers opting for a pickup point option.

So, as and when the economy reopens, a top priority for businesses, both in the essential and non-essential retail space, is to look into ways to bring online and physical retail together to offer seamless shopping experiences.

Customer Behaviour Continues to Change

Customer preferences continue to change at an unprecedented pace. Within a matter of just one year, we have seen how dramatically customer behaviours can change.

For instance, as many people spent time at home, they take more interest in cooking and baking. In April, the demand for flour rose so much that k2 Milling, an artisanal flour mill in Ontario, was producing five times more home baking flour than they would normally produce!

This is why having your finger on the pulse of customer sentiments is vital in 2021. It will enable you to tailor your offerings and services accordingly.

For instance, research shows that the pandemic has led to an increase in demand for ethical and sustainably produced products. Additionally, there has been a strong focus on buying ‘local’.

A recent BDC-Ipsos survey shows that Canadians are buying locally made products to support the local economy, local farmers, and save jobs.

So, in addition to adjusting production quantities, it is also important to gauge what your customers value the most and find ways to incorporate that into your current processes and protocols.

E-Commerce is Here to Stay

Statistics Canada shared that on a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce increased 70.6% in June 2020. This percentage is likely to remain high throughout most of 2021.

Even when malls and stores open their doors again, e-commerce will continue to be around because it has now become a part of consumers’ buying habits.

This is why it is absolutely critical to review your current e-commerce set-up and work on it if needed.

To continue to sustain business and grow in 2021, there has to be a strong focus on the creation of a smooth shopping experience, enhanced awareness, and integration of technology.

Entities who are agile and have a customer-centred approach will be in the best position to tackle whatever 2021 has in store.

This is where we can help.

We can help you prepare for the future of retail through customized in-store and online programs as well as merchandising solutions. Contact us today to learn more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesuppport.ca.

Which trend do you think will dominate this year? Let us know on social media. Storesupport Canada is on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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