BayBridgeDigital is a game changing software company headquartered in NYC. We are building a suite of digital applications on the Salesforce platform. Our mission is to create a world where retailers are loved by customers and employees. We connect brands technology and people to create new growth and business value faster. BayBridgeDigital is a leading provider of retailspecific cloud and mobile software, driving digital transformation for the world’s largest companies. BayBridgeDigital is an “industry cloud” pureplayer specialized on Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM provider.
BayBridgeDigital is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some of the best retailers in the world in the context of cutting edge digital transformation technologies particularly on the Salesforce solutions suite. In other words we are given by our customers the challenge to help them solve some of the most difficult transformational problems they face, sometimes with stakes simply related to their survival in this global economic context. Beyond the pride we take in their trust, this is a unique position we sit in to learn from them and being able to identify strategic trends in the Retail sector. We can then evaluate the related initiatives that represent the best returns which by construct will define tomorrow’s survivors. As a retailer, please consider the following as a lens given on what your competitors somewhere are doing. And if you are already executing on all of them, then you are definitely already one of tomorrow’s winners.
Online shopping remains the most notable retail trend in recent times. With it came internet-driven buying and selling to complement or replace the traditional brick and mortar stores. At the same time, physical stores still adapted pretty well. They blended vital elements of the popular online shopping experience and in-person experience to offer services at more personal levels. While consumer behavior often guided retail trends and transformations in the past, some future forecasts will be due to the Covid19 pandemic. Therefore, some past trends will endure, while seismic changes will also occur. We compile the top 10 retail trends and forecasts for 2021 that every retail enterprise should consider for sustained success.
1. DEEP RETAIL USING AI AND AR
Offline shopping continues to revolutionize. And one of the most notable aspects remains the use of AI and AR. The use of AI, for example, for customer sourcing, isn’t a new phenomenon. It helps to provide intelligent product recommendations to prospective customers. It also allows retailers to identify new customer fronts. A study in the Juniper REsearch projects that online retailers will spend about $7.3b on AI by 2022. And while AI will link sellers to consumers and consumers to products, Augmented REality AR will help mimic how certain products would look on prospective customers.
2. AUGMENTED OMNICHANNEL RETAIL
Since consumers no longer distinguish between online and offline shopping, omnichannel will be the next big thing. It brings together various shopping channels across a range of devices and platforms. Independent reports indicate that up to 73% of consumers use multiple channels to find and purchase products. The trend will continue in 2021. Retailers need to find possible connections between AI, extended reality, robotics, chatbots, and the Internet of Things for better results. A seamless blend of these technologies will give offline shops convenience and, at the same time, make online shopping as interactive as the offline model.
3. EMERGENCE OF NEW PAYMENT OPTIONS
Customers may choose or leave your brand because of the available payment options. Thus, it will be essential as we advance to offer customers a variety of payment options. While debit and credit cards remain very popular, digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Payoneer, and Paypal among others, continue to gain popularity. With more than 31% of mobile clients now using Google Pay. 2021 and subsequent years will also see more e-commerce platforms accepting cryptocurrencies.
5. LIVE COMMERCE AND PERSONAL ASSISTANTS
The digital trends in the developing world are why smart speakers are typical in homes across Europe, America, Asia and Australia. And there is no doubt that voice search and intelligent personal assistants contribute to increasing sales. Google Home and Amazon Echo are predominant among most homeowners. However, with about 20% of people with smart speakers using the devices for shopping activities, you will need to synchronize your online platform with smart speaker features.
8. INCREASE IN DIRECT-TO-CUSTOMER
Direct to Consumer (D2C) commerce is on the rise and will not stop soon. It comes with a myriad of possibilities. Brands often capitalize on direct access to customers as this guarantees more profits for them and lower costs for consumers since it eliminates broker fees. However manufacturers of consumer packaged goods will have to rethink their approach since customers now have softer spots for high-end private label brands. This new vertical has the potential to increase your profits by up to 30%. Private labeling will also give retailers a leeway to competitive pricing. And to stay ahead of the rest, businesses will have no option but to invest in competitive intelligence (CI) to identify and adjust to new consumer demands.
4. A FASTER ORDER FULFILMENT
You can’t talk about trends without mentioning the rising demand for faster deliveries. And this is pretty different form distributions. Instead, it is about fulfilling direct orders from clients regardless of where they are. While deliveries are more efficient than before, 65% of customers still have expectations for faster shipping times. The same-day delivery approach is the new way to go. Retailers will now need to use a combination of smart sensors, autonomous deliveries, digital twinning and blockchain tracking to meet the demand for faster deliveries.
6. ONLINE GOING BRICK & MORTAR
Well, this must be confusing. The past decade and previous ones were all about how everything is moving online. Of course, that’s still the case with e-commerce as up to 79% of marketers opine that inbound marketing is the way to go in the coming decade. However, we predict that 61% of shoppers still drop by stores after online research about products, online stores, and consumer brands will open physical addresses. Conversely, thei offline counterparts will venture into the online market. Bonobos, Amazon, eBay, Casper, Walmart and Glossier all started online nut now have physical stores. Despite the closure of most brick and mortar stores and the need to do most things online, retailers will need to invest in online and offline Marketing mechanisms.
7. SOCIAL COMMERCE
While many consumers still pop up in physical stores or shops to buy certain products, online shopping is growing bigger, particularly with the hurdles brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Recent studies indicate that about 41% of shoppers now shop online for goods they bought in physical stores before the pandemic.
9. A NEW STRATEGY FOR INFLUENCER MARKETING
Forget about influencer marketing’s previous approach that involved captivating captions, selfies and catchy product shots. We are in 2021, and that’s gone. There is a significant shift, and influencer marketing now involves a natural and raw aesthetic approach. Only 1% of millennials trust generic or overlyproduced ads. It’s time to prioritize authenticity. That’s according to about 74% of influential marketers. And with that, don’t downplay the importance of video marketing in 2021.
10. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
This is the last one, and a big one too, if you dare ask. Environmental degradation is a global problem that most people now take very seriously. 65% of consumers now think green and buy green, thanks to the rapid rise in green consumerism. People want to prioritize eco-friendly products. Manufacturers now need to think outside the box and manufacture products that aim to preserve the environment and are easy to recycle.
BayBridgeDigital is a game changing software company headquartered in NYC. We are building a suite of digital applications on the Salesforce platform. Our mission is to create a world where retailers are loved by customers and employees. We connect brands technology and people to create new growth and business value faster. BayBridgeDigital is a leading provider of retail-specific cloud and mobile software, driving digital transformation for the world’s largest companies. BayBridgeDigital is an “industry cloud” pure-player specialized on Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM provider
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