Running a retail business is full of ups and downs, and isn’t easy. There are risks, but there are also opportunities. There have been many significant challenges that forced retailers to come up with creative solutions to adapt and overcome these challenges. For example, COVID-19 transforming shopping attitudes and behaviours.
COVID-19 has reshaped retail and given business owners many unprecedented challenges so far this year. As shops on high street were forced to close under lockdown rules, consumers switched behaviours and e-commerce saw a huge uptake.
What are the pros and cons for retail businesses considering the circumstances of recent months? We ask experts in the sector to outline their viewpoints on the question.
Kelly Slessor points out that pre-COVID retail was already experiencing huge challenges. Operating seamless channels that integrated both the physical and digital store. It required investment and a skillset that many retailers did not have. During COVID we saw an online increase of 50%. Services such as curbside pickup increase by 208%. The forward-thinking retailers move on to video concierge and personal stylists type services.
Analysts believe that the retail industry will accelerate by more than 5 years in less than 3 months.
Customers have been retraining to shop online. Over the next 6-12 months, we will be seeing the survivors driving enhanced experiences in their digital channels.
There will be many fallouts of those that cannot invest in and accelerate their digital experience.
There have been many demands and pressures on retailers placed by the pandemic. Such as unprecedented disruptions to supply chains, explosive demands, and rapid shifts in consumer behaviour.
Many retailers face an unknown future. Retailers must be able to adapt whilst staying alongside product innovations and industry trends. These are the ones who will survive.