The retail industry has been one of the most necessary and crucial parts of the economy worldwide. The retail industry mainly comprises of selling of finished products to the consumers and has been pivotal for not only survival but also the progress of the economy and the involved companies and enterprises.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the retail industry was one of the most affected industries worldwide as manufacturing units were shut down, leading to a severed connection between the supply and the sudden spurt in demand. Although the retail industry has also profited way more as compared to other industries in the pandemic period, a major shift has been seen in the functioning of the retail industry, bringing a single question to everyone’s mind, what is the future of retail?
Retail Trends for 2021
Rise of Internet
The pandemic has not only led to an overwhelming increase in the number of retailers as the world shifted to the world of internet, this not only created a huge market for the retailers as they can sell anywhere around the world, and the consumers can order anything from anywhere at the tap of a button. This has not only increased the number of options for the consumers but has also given rise to various issues with the authenticity and quality of the products in the market. Since there is a large number of sellers offering a single product, it all comes down to the cutthroat competition and usually, the big retailers take the podium as they have more capital and years into the domain, thereby killing out new retailers even with sub-par products with superior or equal quality with lower price.
Setting up an e-store involves a lot of technological changes and involves a lot of checkpoints, as automation is taking its cover in the retail industry, thus big retailers have automation taking care of billing, orders, stock information, right down to mapping the correct price of the products. This creates a staggering difference as new retailers have to shell out more capital just to set up their e-shops with minimal technological requirements. Also, as marketing has also turned towards the digital world, the campaigning of products has flooded the markets, either extremely unique or extremely expensive campaigns stick out, which is mostly run by big retailers invariably slimming down the chances of new retailers.
To be on the positive side, many new retailers have not only successfully established themselves in the past years but have also inspired many. All this in turn is extremely beneficial to the consumers as they have a wide variety of competitive prices, in short, the best case scenarios available to them
Retailing the way in or out?
The retail industry and its future look bright and very promising but are these changes leading to a complete abomination of the old face-to-face interactions or is it a misstep towards providing more customers and footfall to big retail giants who can survive the competition and cast out new entrees. As the technology has made it easier to enter the retail industry, and more and more e-stores opening up, the future of retail is still in question as more stores will lead to more variety but can the quality stay consistent if not improve. The questions far outweigh the current positives, the future of retail is something that has everyone’s eyes and attention, all we can do now is wait and for the reveal of the future retail.
People are always going to go shopping. A lot of our effort is just ‘how do we make the retail experience a great one?Phillip Green, Chairman, Arcadia Group