E-commerce is a rapidly growing phenomena nowadays, and it has intensified due to the recent global health crisis. As a result of the restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, customers were encouraged to implement online shopping and, according to a report by Backslash, TBWA, the future of retail is headed in that direction.
It is estimated that 95 % of the purchases will be made through e-commerce by 2040 and that this practice will undergo a 24 % growth in Spain during 2021. However, 71 % of consumers state that they prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores —a convincing proof that physical retail stores should not be replaced by e-commerce, but rather be combined with it in order to offer a wide-ranging experience.
According to this report, there are 4 growing trends and opportunities that target different sources of demand and that emerge from several difficulties the industry is facing:
- As consumers are increasingly aware of and worried about climate change and environmental issues, they demand more transparency in the supply chain. As a consequence, physical spaces should address this important aspect and adopt sustainability practices such as looking for packaging solutions different from plastic bags and containers, implementing recycling systems and reducing their energy use.
- The emergence of Direct to Consumer (D2C) brands, such as Warby Parker and HIMS & HERS, is driving consumers away from large stores. It is crucial to keep in mind that retail stores of the future should become physical spaces where customers can do more than just shopping. Brands need to transform and offer new and innovative experiences to consumers, focused on their particular demands.
- The growing number of shopping platforms increasingly complicates the brand-consumer relationship. Social networks are a handy tool to remain connected to consumers and keep a close relationship with them, while trying to understand their preferences and needs. Brands may conduct online surveys through platforms and establish an interactive communication with customers.
- The greater demand for products through online channels is forcing retail to transform digitally. Having a solid online presence is key for the new digital era and promoting brands among the audience is fundamental. For this purpose, the omnichannel strategy can be put into practice in order to be present in the vast world of the Internet.
The best way to face this digital era is by reinventing physical spaces and implementing a strong online presence. At the same time, we strongly believe that understanding that the customers should be the beating heart of every decision taken is a practice that will undoubtedly lead brands to success.