With the pandemic taking a massive hit on the consumer and retail industry we can see retailers scrambling to adapt. Bricks and mortar stores faced the biggest hit due to the significant shift towards online shopping.
What does the short term look like?
Some retailers have seen demand fall and customers shift channels whereas others face sudden spikes in demand. Being able to predict and manage demand has never been more important, particularly when managing your supply chain.
Retailers have also been looking into crisis management planning and ways to protect their employees whilst maintaining business as usual.
What does the future of retail look like?
With the shift in consumer behaviour to impact the long term, retailers are revising their immediate and long term strategy. With online shopping becoming the new norm, many are redesigning their businesses to ensure the same customer experience in-store can be applied online. This may include an emphasis on digital marketing and UX design, or the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to simulate an “in-store” experience.
Increasingly, businesses are also opening up “dark stores”, which are stores without customers, to ensure quicker pickup and dispatch of online orders. Ultimately, retailers that are not able to future-proof their businesses and adapt to the new normal may get left behind.
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