New year, fresh start! Despite the fact that the second half of 2021 is going much better than the first, retailers have still had an odd year. The pandemic was avoided at all costs in 2020, many businesses returned to normal this year, and 2022 will bring additional significant changes. Independent Retailer is here to ensure that independent retailers are fully prepared.
Brands should always be looking for ways to improve customer experiences and business models, and there is no better time than the beginning of the year to review your operations. The following are some key areas that retailers should concentrate on in the new year, according to industry experts:
Seamless Experiences In-Store & Online
According to Greg Chen, Mobiz’s CEO and co-founder, omnichannel experiences will be huge in 2022. We saw a significant shift in consumer behavior and an increase in e-commerce in 2020, but as 2021 progresses, we will see a resurgence of physical and in-store retail. Retailers need to find ways to bridge the digital divide and seamlessly interact with their customers at the intersection of online communications and in-store experiences.
The use of a QR code in a store to collect customer information and provide an incentive to buy is a great illustration of this. According to Chen, this enables retailers to re-engage with customers in the future while providing them with a benefit, such as a coupon that can be used online or in-store.
Make Your Business Post-Pandemic Essential
Danny Estavillo, RevUnit’s Senior Vice President of Growth, stated, “Non-essential retail needs to take a look at what they can do to move up the chain to get closer to essential retail.” During the pandemic, essential retail, such as home improvement and grocery stores, thrived, while non-essential retailers struggled due to significant shifts in consumer behavior that are likely to become the norm. Learn more about your products and how to increase their value. Get to know your customers better so you can tailor your product mix to meet their needs.
Find More Ways to Be Sustainable
A recent EPA calculator revealed that FedEx, UPS, and USPS’s annual delivery emissions are equivalent to those of more than seven million automobiles. The Valassis line of Vericast’s 2021 Consumer Intel Report reveals that millennials are paying attention to how their purchases affect the environment. The report found that millennial consumers place a high value on sustainability, with 63% of millennials willing to pay more for sustainable products. Also, 72% of millennial parents are more likely to stick with a brand or store that shares their commitment to being environmentally friendly or using sustainable or ethical business practices.
AR and VR Experiences are the Future of Retail
Virtual reality and augmented reality are being tried out by a lot of retail conglomerates. According to a Wool & Water study, 54% of customers have abandoned their online shopping carts because they were concerned about how the product would actually look. 83% of customers would choose a retailer that offers AR/VR over a competitor that does not. Retailers could increase their profits by providing customers with the experiences they seek, despite the growing use of virtual reality by consumers.
The key, according to Wool & Water CEO Jeff Bodzewski, is to start small, even though augmented reality and virtual reality may appear to be a daunting and costly endeavor. It’s natural to want to incorporate an entire store or a new line of products with this, but you should start with one hero product. You already have a good idea of how the product will perform, and this test is a good way to learn how augmented reality can inspire confidence online. “I hope retailers are seeing both higher basket sizes and higher conversions,” he said. Allowing customers to virtually try on even one product online can reduce cart abandonment and increase your brand’s recognition for industry innovation.
The way people shop now has changed forever, so it’s important for independent retailers to commit to finding new ways to get customers to come in. Try some of these suggestions to kick off the new year in the right way.
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