Pillars of the digital transformation of retail in 2021

With 2021 ending soon and 2022 starting soon, we felt it was time for retailers to take a break. This article represents a time to reflect on how retail is becoming increasingly consumer-centric in new and unexpected ways. From TikTok to Nike, we highlight three key trends that have emerged and definitely reshaped the industry.

1. Omnipresent Omnichannel

Retail industries that are hesitant or unsure of how to embrace digital consumer offerings should consider that consumers live in an Amazon-driven world. Instant, transparent and accessible shopping is the present and future of retail.

In short, consumers want options in what PYMNTS dubbed the ‘bring it to me economy’ earlier this year, a digital shift that has accelerated under COVID-19 but has now taken hold over the years. Last 18 months in a wave of consumers living and working from home.

See also: Bring It On Me Economy Grows As Consumers Embrace Home-Centered Lifestyles

It’s a trend that shows no signs of reversing, especially with omicron now raging in the United States and around the world.

“I think people new to live trading are surprisingly shocked at its quality,” Arthur Veytsman, co-founder and CEO of Immerss, told PYMNTS earlier this year. “If you’re a store that doesn’t offer this, the customer is going to switch to your competitor who is better at serving the customer. “

Read more: Retailers embrace clienteling to make the shopping experience more personal

Take the grocery industry, where only 1% of paper coupons in grocery stores are redeemed.

Digital coupons, on the other hand, have 15% redemption rates, perhaps because they’re much more data-driven and can be more easily personalized to reflect different consumer needs.

With 46% of consumers now ordering more groceries online than before COVID-19, according to PYMNTS research, digital discounts not only work, but they also make a lot of sense.

Related: Grocers can leverage contagion issues to drive digital adoption

In other areas of non-food retail, omnichannel offerings will become an integral part of the typical consumer shopping experience, PYMNTS predicted.

Consider, for example, Bed Bath & Beyond looking to modernize its supply chain and revamp its merchandise operations – or the acquisition of Whiplash-Ryder linked to omnichannel offerings serving more than 250 brands in warehouses spanning nearly 7 million. square feet.

Even Chipotle is on its way to becoming the Uber of the food business. (Also interesting, you can now apply to work at Chipotle through TikTok, as part of the burrito maker’s efforts to tap into younger employees.)

Read more: Chipotle follows in Uber’s footsteps with omnichannel innovation

Digital upgrades can also be seen in the way some retailers are leveraging technology to ensure consumers can easily order out-of-stock items, as a proactive way to not lose a sale.

“We’re about to see how much of this enthusiasm – for cross-channel conduits and the means to get your meat and veg – is reflected on the world stage,” PYMNTS wrote. “The trends seem in place for the growth of omni-retail to continue. “

See also: Retailers embrace clienteling to make the shopping experience more personal

“It’s about making a deep connection with a consumer who is linked to the emotional thrill of a truly unique purchase that speaks to them and adds value and joy to their life,” PYMNTS said.

Related: 2021 is the year of NFT and Omnichannel Auction Houses

2. We hear you

Consumers watch the movements of retailers and take a keen interest in what the companies they buy from are doing to make the world around them a better place.

For example, Nike recently announced its intention to design and sell products related to consumer values ​​on topics such as diversity and inclusion, underrepresented athletes, and more.

See also: Nike is committed to strengthening consumer connection and innovation to expand the Athleisure trend

Also consider how startup Future now offers a Visa card that rewards consumers 5% on green spending, and how banking startup Aspiration now plants a tree for every transaction made.

“We are planting more trees than there are in Central Park every day,” Aspiration told PYMNTS. “We see our payment mechanisms as sustainable delivery mechanisms. “

Read more: FutureCard offers rewards for “green spending”

Indeed, sustainability as a delivery mechanism is a fascinating concept. It’s a question that many companies, like Basware, take very seriously.

For example, last May, Basware announced a strategy to make it easier for consumers to see which businesses were owned by minorities. It did this by granting consumers direct access to various data. The benefit to the consumer, said Basware, was that it gave them a holistic view of the supply chain. And businesses benefit from turning information into actionable strategies.

When consumers have what they need at their fingertips to make informed, informed decisions, everyone benefits from increased transparency.

Related: Basware, Dun & Bradstreet are working on identifying supplier diversity

3. Re-engage with commitment

Forget the brick and mortar – today some companies are looking to engage consumers in virtual worlds, via virtual reality or the metaverse.

For example, consider how TikTok got into the restaurant business and opened their own restaurant chain. TikTok announced earlier this month that it will create 1,000 virtual kitchens as part of a partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts.

The move, PYMNTS wrote, poses a threat to quick service restaurants around the world and the order aggregators that serve them.

Read more: TikTok takes on the fast food giants with 1,000 virtual kitchens

With a menu that will change quarterly, TikTok Kitchen, developed alongside GrubHub, will feature menu items that have gone viral on TikTok.

Retailers’ forays into new and different consumer engagement tactics like this are increasingly common.

For example, Nike seeks to dip its toes into the metaverse. As reported by PYMNTS, Nike recently launched the NIKELAND three-dimensional immersion experience on Roblox.

See also: Nike creates a virtual world within Roblox

And after

Even though e-commerce and digital transactions evolve rapidly, many retailers would be well served by taking a break and really listening to what consumers want and need next.

Offers that meet consumers where they are, support greater societal morality on a large scale, and are not afraid to take unconventional risks that foster new levels of community will drive the future of retailing. detail.



On:More than half of American consumers think biometric authentication methods are faster, more convenient, and more reliable than passwords or PINs, so why are less than 10% using them? PYMNTS, working with Mitek, surveyed more than 2,200 consumers to better define this perception gap from usage and identify ways in which businesses can increase usage.

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