27. July 2020 - Report

Key trends in retail post Covid-19 

Projects experts financial institutions

The pandemic’s impact on retail is stark. But as with all crises, hope rises from the ashes. Peter Scott, retail consultant at Graystone Strategy looks at the way retail is adapting to the new challenges and the trends to emerge in the next 12 months. 

1. The customer mindset has changed and that brings opportunity

Online shopping has helped a lot the past few months during the lockdown. In the food industry there has been a shift from 50% supermarket sales to only 20% with online sales rising.  

2. Digital has to take center stage

Retailers that were not digitalized, or had no online stores have seen a struggle and need to get into digital. Whereas the retailers that were already out there have gained new customers and need to find ways to keep them. 

3. Loyalty schemes need a makeover

Communication with customers throughout the pandemic was key. The things that the retailers have done during the pandemic or the way these retailers have communicated will be remembered by the customers, and as such breed loyalty. 

4. New technology now has a place

Since people are now used to online shopping, they will need to imagine how something they want to buy will look on them. As such, apps will gain importance that give the customer an idea of how a particular item of clothing will look on them or how a particular furniture will fit into their spaces. 

5. Theatrical experiences are a must

Physical retail shopping needs to be enjoyable. Since there are many restrictions while shopping, the stores need to make it more fun for the customers. Shops will need to look attractive so that customers will be interested and get a real experience.  

6. Subscription models are more important than ever

Busy lifestyles have been the driving force for subscriptions models for a while. However, lockdown has sparked more innovations. Independent shops had to shift the way they sold to find their customers. Now, there are things like weekly, carefully curated craft beer deliveries. We’ll start to see bigger brands follow, not just with subscription deliveries.  

Making all this happen is hard. For some retailers they will need to reinvent their brand, their supply chain and the entire fabric of their company culture and brand purpose. That needs bravery and leadership. But if you know your customers well, identify the new opportunities, and select products and services that will drive loyalty then you have a real chance to succeed.