In the midst of challenges, 2020 gave us a lot of things to be thankful for. The global crisis pushed us to experience a way of life we might have never believed was possible. We’ve been able to work remotely, with little or no loss of productivity. We’ve been able to transition to online education at a scale never imagined before. We’ve even been able to develop a vaccine faster than ever before.
In the retail world too we saw boundaries being pushed. Today, more guests are shopping online and exploring contactless methods of shopping. This change is here to stay, and to be successful in the retail world, it is important to place the guest (customer) at the center of all decision-making.
To build durable strategies for 2021 and beyond, retailers need to keep in mind some emerging trends:
Guests today want the flexibility to shop anywhere they want to – be it online, on the mobile or at stores. Retailers need to continue investing in building relevant shopping experiences across each of the channels. While ecommerce is picking up, stores continue to be critical for many reasons. Guests like to come to stores to experience the tangibility of a product or to be able to quickly pick-up a product. For instance, these can include being able to order online and pick-up an order from a store, have someone deliver it to you in your car, or have it delivered to your house on the same day.
Great Shopping experiences
Retailers need to stay in tune with the evolving needs of guests, to continue bringing joy to them. They will need to build products and services that are relevant to the guest. The relationships that the retailers are able to build with guests during this period will be their greatest asset.
The economic fallouts of the Covid-19 pandemic are still unfolding, and with no clear line of sight into the future, guests will continue to look for value when they shop. But value is going to mean much more than just low prices. It’s also about the ease of the shopping experience and availability of high-quality and affordable products to meet a specific need.
Above all, we all need to stay agile with an eager learning mind-set to not only manage these challenges but thrive and succeed. It’s critical that we open up and think about co-creating the future with our guests. There lies our true purpose.
About the Author
Rakesh Mishra, Vice President, Marketing, Target in India