Inside Retail and KPMG have published their Retail Outlook for 2021, noting 2020 was a ‘year of retailing bravely’ that saw retailers adopt new technologies and new business models to cater to a new customer expectation.
In an article entitled ‘Hybrid digital experience: The next realm of retail,’ they explain 2020 saw most retailers quickly embrace digital basics, but now the focus needs to shift to what customers expect from their digital experiences as part of the new normal.
Here’s an insight into where they suggest retailers should apply that focus in the months ahead…
The acceleration of digital
KPMG’s Freddie Engberts notes 2020 saw a rapid increase in digital adoption both by consumers and business.
That digital acceleration resulted in three key trends in the retail sector:
- It forced retailers to master the digital basics quickly, via tools like social media selling, online ordering, and curbside order fulfilment.
- It raised the customer’s expectation of what was possible.
- It broadened the demographics of customers drawing on digital services and digital retail beyond previous groups like Millennials and Gen Z.
“Providing digital service is no longer a differentiator,” Mr Engberts notes.
“It’s the baseline expectation and the cornerstone of customer engagement.”
But where to from here? Mr Engberts says, although that remains unknown, the opportunities are immense.