Following the health crisis and its consequences, the retail industry is surely the one that has had to show a lot of skills, probably more than any other sector. In fact, the last two years have disrupted many of the habits of consumers and retailers, leading them into a new era, very much marked by the digitalization of in-store tasks.
To better understand the trends within this industry and how retailers have responded to the circumstances, Lightspeed conducted a multi-country survey of 2,200 retail owners, managers, operators, and customers.
In an industry that has had to endure accelerated change, the majority of retailers have embraced omnichannel, a strategic approach to begin offering customers a consistent and coordinated experience. In fact, as the Lightspeed article mentions, stores that operated both online and in-store experienced the greatest revenue growth over a one-year period. Omnichannel selling translated into e-commerce has thus become almost indispensable, especially allowing some loyal customers to continue shopping with the retailers they trust.
This consolidation of the customer relationship has also been achieved through the efforts of retailers to invest in technologies such as electronic shelf labels (ESL), that have not only made the shopping experience more attractive and fluid but have also optimized and increased the efficiency of many tasks. In creating this sensational experience while staying ahead of the competition, it is the retailers who have offered this combined approach that have been the most successful. For example, this revenue growth was seen in the U.S. both online and in-store: “61% of omnichannel merchants, 47% of online merchants, and 41% of merchants operating a physical store experienced higher year-over-year sales growth.”
As such, many experts including those at Lightspeed are advising retailers to invest in additional technology and hardware to improve their omnichannel channels and replenishment efficiency.