In a blink of an eye, we have seen a great digital shift in the retail industry. From changes in people’s buying habits to the transformation in the way retailers engage with and support their customers. The pace of change in 2020 has seen retailers rapidly scale their digital operations, expand delivery capabilities, enter new markets, and in some cases introduce new e-commerce opportunities entirely. These changes, coupled with new consumer behaviors, will leave a lasting change on the industry.
The combination of brick-and-mortar with digital shopping – omnichannel – was already accelerating but the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the growth of e-commerce sales. According to McKinsey, online sales had increased by 14% CAGR over the past four years. In the midst of the crisis, online purchasing grew 25% in a two-week period in March.
With online expected to be the fastest-growing channel in 2021, retailers are under greater pressure to scale up their omnichannel offering. As a result, stores are fast becoming mini-fulfillment centers as retailers seek to ensure order fulfillment. Additionally, the events of 2020 have brought “buy online and pick up in-store” (BOPIS) to the forefront with retailers finding new ways to keep their customers safe and their loyalty strong by allowing customers to collect orders from the curbside.
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