When COVID-19 hit India and the sudden lockdown was announced, it looked as if the future of retail would go under dark. While this is true in the case of small vendors or local shopkeepers, it gave a decent kick to the e-commerce industry and changed the perception of buyers.
“We are seeing customers sticking to ordering online even after easing in lockdown restrictions.” – Chandan Khaitan, Walmart India Chief Digital Officer
The notion of online shopping has taken over the idea of buying products from a retail store completely. The e-commerce industry has diversified ways to deal with consumer’s requests with major investment in personalized shopping experience as per their choices. On the other hand, e-commerce brands are making sure that their consumers have a faster and more convenient shopping experience. It’s different for the retailers because their businesses still need to keep up with the new form of change in the shopping industry. It’s becoming harder for them to adapt to the fact the physical stores are no longer at the center of the consumer market as buyers are drawn to engage more with the brands and their digital stores so that it will be tough for the future of retail.
“Growth will be slow initially, but ramp up quickly. Smaller retailers will start to close, reducing consumer options and driving more people online.” – Marc Poulin, former CEO, SOBEYS
When it comes to e-commerce and online shopping, digital platforms and latest technology adds value to personalized shopping experience. Customers are more likely to make purchases with brands that quickly recognize their choices and provide them with offers and recommendations that are entirely personalized.
Another fact adds up to the future of retail is increase in the number of mobile phone users. As majority of online orders are placed from mobile, e-commerce companies are investing more into a more robust and mobile-friendly user experience. The online stores and websites are making themselves available for mobile devices and putting efforts into making more optimized, user-friendly designs within their sites and mobile applications.
Design and visual graphics are going to be the best acquaintances for the future of retail. Recent analysis shows that the top 10% of products ranked by Amazon sales had an average number of 4 images per product in the product pages, which is falling short on the expectations. Consumers want more images and videos on each product page to have a hands-on visual experience every time before making a bargain. On top of that, impulse purchasing (almost 42% millennials have admitted to making at least one impulse buy each year) will still be ruling over retails, years from now.
As the trend of online shopping goes viral, so are the possibilities of online stores for retail. User-based personalized experience and instant gratification will play a significant role in the upcoming future of e-commerce.