Retail is an industry that has long seen extensive changes. An evolving retail landscape requires retailers to stay ahead of the curve with innovative technology and personalized customer experience. As traditional eCommerce stores, marketplaces and social platforms continue to push the boundaries of retail, there are many technology trends that are expected to rise in importance for retailers. These technologies will have a significant impact on customer experience and business growth. As this landscape is ever-changing, it’s crucial for retailers to stay ahead.
A Closer Look at the Top Retail Trends of 2021
There are many trends that are currently changing the face of retail, but here are the top five trends affecting the industry.
1. Edge Computing Will Be Used Across Multiple Devices To Make Shopping Faster and Easier for Customers
It’s not just the big brands that are looking at blockchain to provide a more secure way of managing data. Smaller retailers are also considering how this technology could help their businesses, giving them an edge over competitors. Blockchain provides tamper proof records, meaning that retailers would have a better handle on their data and who they are sharing it with. It’s hoped that this could lead to improvements in the customer experience.
2. Voice Will Be Bigger Than Touch in 2021
Voice-controlled computing is presenting a huge opportunity for brands in a number of sectors, including retail. The technology is already well embedded in devices such as Amazon’s Echo and, according to Capgemini, voice commerce will be the dominant form of digital transaction by 2021.
As we’ve seen with the growth of mobile phones and tablets, consumers are shifting towards touchscreens as their preferred way to interact with devices. If retailers want to get ahead, they need to make sure that their websites and apps are fully responsive, are compatible with voice devices, and are designed to create a seamless shopping experience.
3. Advertising Budgets Will Be Invested in Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is the future of online shopping, allowing retailers to give customers an interactive experience that’s more engaging than clicking around on a website. According to Business Insider, the global AR market is expected to be worth a whopping $165 billion by 2021.
Advertising budgets are already being invested in AR, with over 4 out of 5 marketing professionals planning to increase their use of the technology according to a recent survey. Augmented Reality will allow customers to virtually try on clothes and accessories, making sure that they purchase items that fit them perfectly.
4. Retail Apps Will Have the Biggest Consumer Adoption Since Facebook
Even before social media became a household name, retail apps were being developed to help customers get information about products. However, they’ve never been as popular as they are now, with more than half of smartphone owners downloading shopping-related apps to their devices (OuterBox).
5. Data Will Drive Personalized Customer Experiences
As online shopping becomes more and more popular, combined with the power of personalization technology, it’s no surprise that retailers are relying on data more than ever to create personalized experiences for their customers.
With access to so much data about their customers, retailers can get closer to their audiences by creating targeted campaigns and ensuring that the user journey is smooth and pain-free. Customers are more likely to purchase from a retailer they trust, so providing them with all of the relevant information will go a long way towards building this relationship.
As technology continues to change and develop, so will the retail landscape. Retailers should be aware that it’s not just about getting ahead of competitors in their industry, but also trying to keep up with all of the latest advancements happening across every sector. The companies who are able to innovate and use new technologies effectively will find themselves better placed for a competitive advantage in the future.
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