New Perspectives And Opportunities In Retail For 2022
Opportunities In Retail
Digital sales have been the retail sector’s great protagonists during the last two years. Without a doubt, we are in a period of change in which great opportunities will arise for the brands that are ready to take advantage of them.
In this article, we will see the main pointers and 5 case studies that will help us understand the evolution of the retail sector by 2022.
Digital Sales And The Retail Sector In 2022
- The pandemic has had significant effects on the retail sector. 80% of the companies analyzed have had to restructure their points of sale. In addition, many of them have had to reorganize their logistics to support the increase in digital sales; they have given more importance to digital commerce within their strategies and have leapt teleworking.
- The main challenge for both distributors and manufacturers is to improve the consumer’s vision. To deal with it, they take the initiative to intelligently collect and analyze more customer information and improve the flow of information within the chain. To make this possible, strategies are being considered to gain customer trust and position themselves as players that take data privacy seriously.
- The customer journey is constantly evolving and becoming more granular and hybrid. Customers are consulting more sources of information to make decisions, including search in digital media, which is becoming more critical. Faced with this situation, retailers are working to achieve a more complex, omnichannel and technological customer experience.
- After all the changes suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, physical stores are going from mere places of purchase to offering differential experiences, which seek to maximize the emotional nature of the visit and the search, choice and trial of products, seeking customer loyalty.
- The concept of “proximity” is changing. It is no longer only associated with the physical proximity of the store to the home. Still, many other factors related to comfort and speed, which are not necessarily linked to distance, influence. In short, these two concepts define a “new proximity” and will play a vital role in the strategies of the retail sector.
- After the pandemic, a new concept has emerged: the “phygital”, which brings together the online shopping experience with the physical experience in the digital realm to offer proximity to customers. It’s about creating an experience that combines the best online and physical channels to make purchasing products easier, simpler and faster.
- The payments revolution is another key retail trend for 2022 and beyond. Cash has lost importance, and electronic transactions have gained weight, e-commerce, mobile phone payments and new payment platforms like Bizum. According to studies, cashless payment will continue to grow, including mobile wallet applications to make payments.
- Ecommerce has become a crucial part of the commercial strategy, both for manufacturers and distributors. The websites are increasingly transactional, and digital marketing actions are more conversion-oriented.
- Last mile management is a crucial optimization area in the retail industry. Companies in the sector are working to improve aspects such as the network of distribution centres, transport routes, types of transport and parcels, and delivery conditions, as well as the technologies used in all the processes involved (Internet of things, augmented reality, blockchain, big data, drones, etc.). The ultimate goal is to maximize the customer shopping experience.
- In recent years, respect for the environment and sustainability have become a differentiation lever. Companies in the retail sector are aware of this reality and therefore continue to launch initiatives in this direction.
5 Success Stories From The Retail Sector To Inspire You In 2022
1. Tous Brand
Tous is a jewellery brand with more than 700 stores in 54 countries. Omnichannel management has been criticized as a differentiating factor within its digital transformation process.
Like other companies in its sector, Tous was seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since jewellery is not an immediate necessity product. The stores were closed for a good part of the year and faced an unprecedented economic crisis.
Given this circumstance, the online service has been the only viable alternative to continue offering the products. Tous was equal to the challenge and took advantage of the occasion to innovate its processes and become even more robust around the crisis.
During the lockdown, Tous used its closed stores as supply depots for ship-from-store online shopping. Once restrictions eased, it strengthened its omnichannel processes such as store pickup, store reservation, and infinity aisle. Tous currently offers a full omnichannel service with same-day delivery.
The results have been a complete success for the company since it ended the year with a 72% growth in e-commerce and reinforcing the digital sales service, reducing last-mile costs, and achieving a complete vision and better coordination of all the channels.
The city of Girona has recently launched a pilot test for smart parcels that shows us what the shipments of the future may look like.
The city council installed 8 smart mailboxes in public places, where both companies and private citizens can send and receive packages at any time. The packages reach the mailboxes utilizing electric vehicles, which allows the entire process to be “zero emissions”.
This system has made it possible to reduce pollution and the circulation of vehicles throughout the city. According to the company responsible for the operations, Smart Point Girona, it is expected that the circulation of courier vans will be reduced by 22% per month throughout the municipality. This implies a reduction of 1.3 tons of CO2.
In addition to the advantages for sustainability, the project also helps reduce the risk of contagion by a coronavirus. It allows packages to be delivered without interaction between people.
3. More Supermarkets
The MAS Supermarkets are another excellent example of a company that has taken advantage of technology to improve the customer experience through augmented reality and 4K video.
Augmented reality offers customers information about different products, such as nutritional data, ingredients, allergens or recipes. In addition to being an attractive first claim, it allows you to obtain all this information in a much more comfortable, fast and complete way.
On the other hand, 4K video is used to make live broadcasts to the app to bring the supermarket to customers’ mobile phones and provide additional information, helping them to plan their purchases.
4. Apple Pay
Apple Pay is an excellent example of improving payment processes thanks to tokenization. The process works as follows:
- The customer takes a photo of his credit card with an iPhone.
- Apple captures the card information and sends it to the issuing bank or financial institution.
- The financial institution generates a token and key and sends them to Apple. Apple stores only the token.
- In this way, the user can make payments with his mobile in any store through the token, but since it is a “one-way” algorithm, the token does not allow outsiders to obtain the card data.
This secure system has allowed Apple Pay to grow from 67 million users in 2016 to more than 500 million today.
5. Mainland Ark
Arca Continental, the second-largest Coca Cola bottler in Latin America, has implemented machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve your inventory management and user experience.
Using AI, this company analyzes inventory and replenishment data for each product to prevent out-of-stocks and generate predictive dashboards that help store staff replenish products before they run out. This technology is also used to analyze the results of each product and boost sales.