A new year and a new beginning! Even for the retail sector, 2021 promises to be a year of great changes that will follow the profound transformation that had already begun in 2020 in terms of business and consumer behaviour.
What can we expect? Forbes mentioned it, summarising the 4 main 2021 retail trends that will guide us in shopping and sales for the next 12 months.
Retail Trends for 2021: Ethical and traditional but always connected, this is the consumer 2021 profile
1. Responsible consumption
The issues of sustainability and responsibility have been appearing in the business world for some time.
2021 will be the year of their consecration and will see consumers clearly prefer the most health-conscious companies in the world and community.
The planet’s distress, and the feeling that the pandemic might even have been a request for a time-outby the Earth concerning human exploitation, has accelerated the need for real care of companies towards social and environmental issues.
Superficial attitudes are enough: to win over the new responsible consumer, Companies will have to rethink the way they have done business so far – adopting a concretely sustainable approach – and taking the front line to encourage real change for the benefit of the environment and its inhabitants.
2. Make way for the little ones
Linked to the rediscovery of sustainability, but also driven by customers’ unwillingness to go to crowded places and large shops, the retail trend for 2021 is the central role of small shops. Local consumption and shop small gratify customers by making them feel useful to their community, and at the same time reassure them by keeping them close to home.
If you are a small shopkeeper, this is your moment: captivate customers by telling your story, highlighting products you offer’s truthfulness and clearly expressing your role in the community.
Knowledgeable consumers will be happy to support you with their purchases.
3. Online, but not too much
Undoubtedly, online shopping was the real protagonist of the transformation of consumer behaviour in 2020. Locked down at home for months on end, customers from all over the world have had to – willy-nilly – approach purchasing via the web. Finding it convenient, fast, safe and sometimes even more cost-effective. But also sterile and at times alienating, emptied of that human and relational component typical of the tactile shopping experience, between shopkeepers, shelves and products.
For this reason, the trend of online shopping will continue to flourish in 2021, certainly strengthening, but without excelling too much. The virtual purchase will be accompanied by a progressive rebirth of the bricks and mortar one. Going back to the retail threshold means, for customers all over the world, finding a glimmer of normality and getting out of the nightmare of the lockdown, if only for the time of a receipt.
Brick and mortar stores can take advantage of the pull, offering customers new and engaging in-store experiences, where it is really worth sticking your nose out the front door.
4. Offline, but not too much
Even the physical point of sale, hitherto celebrated as a star of the 2021 retail trends, will have to get involved and rethink its role by integrating, where possible, innovative and smarter purchasing methods, capable of looking to the future but without losing sight of traditions.
Consumers are now more aware of the power of technology and know how to use it to their advantage in order to jump between the real and virtual worlds during the purchasing process. There are those who inquire online and then go to the shop to buy, and those, on the other hand, who visit the shop to touch and then conclude their purchase from their PC.
How to behave to avoid overlooking any opportunity? By presiding over both environments with new and powerful tools. ShopCall is a perfect example of this combination: buying online, in a video call with the store, allowing the customer to take advantage of the speed of the web while benefiting from the pleasure of being served by the retailer and entering, even if virtually, the store. The retailer, for their part, can welcome more customers, overcoming the barriers of space and time, and maximise sales, occupying the online and offline world at the same time and finally rediscovering a central role in the daily life of their customers.