4 retail trends 2021
In retail 2021, the interaction between company and customer becomes more virtual, companies use digital twins to plan and predict behaviors, customers are looking for a new convenience and resort to click & collect. Here are the trends analyzed during a webinar led by Alberto Mattiello of Retai Hub.
Virtual interaction, digital twins, new convenience, click & collect: these are the main ones trends that are emerging in retail 2021, also (and not only) due to the push to digitization caused by the pandemic. Retailers will increasingly have to get used to the idea that their customers can interact virtually with products, perhaps through digital mannequins to try on clothes. The affirmation of the digital twins in retail: a sort of virtual copy of a product or a shop where a huge amount of data converges, which allows you to make projections, plan, predict behaviors and much more.
The health emergency is at the basis of the search for a more convenient shopping experience, both in terms of safety and costs: and here is the new trend of new convenience. Finally, in retail 2021 the click & collect: ordering online and collecting on site is a trend that could lead to the full success of condominium lockers in the future. These are all ideas that come from the webinar "The Innovation Club: CES + NRF special edition", in which Alberto Mattiello, Head of Innovation of Retail Hub, after having proposed the innovations that emerged from the latest editions of the two key events for technology and retail, the CES in Las Vegas and the NRF in New York, discussed them with the representatives of the most important companies in the retail sector.
- 1. Retail 2021, virtual interaction
- 2. Retail 2021, the digital twins
- 3. New convenience
- 4.Click & collect
1. Retail 2021, virtual interaction
The in-store experience will probably never die, because being able to touch a fabric or interact with a salesperson will retain its value for the end user, but it is undeniable that in retail augmented reality solutions they are increasingly joining the real experience. Miroglio, for example, as its Innovation Manager explains Leonardo Raineri, is developing avatars with parametric measurements to allow the customer to imagine what a garment will look like: it's called parametric mannequin.
Also Benetton he is working on this type of mannequins: “Our virtual solutions will complement the real experience. We have come very close to physical experience, ”he says Giuseppe Pontin, CIO of the Group. Some companies have come to design only the "digital garment" and, if they verify that there is a demand for that type of model, they move on to the production phase. “The concept of digital retail is something we have to deal with, there is no going back. We look to the US, where it is already widely established, ”he says Paolo Pennisi, Senior Vice President Information Technology of Ferrero North America. In this context, in which retailers increasingly rely on augmented reality, occupy a prominent place video game companies, who have a competitive advantage in proposing technologies and solutions to retail companies.
2. Retail 2021, the digital twins
Digital twins, a concept born in the engineering world that is finding application in an increasing number of fields, are those highly detailed models built from an immeasurable amount of information updated in real time. They can therefore be considered computer replicas of objects, places, processes and even entire cities or people in flesh and blood. The use of digital twins will be one of the emerging trends in retail 2021.
For example Dessault Systèmes, who does 3D modeling, has created digital models of real stores with Store Electronic Systems, a specialist in digital solutions for the point of sale. In practice, it is a sort of 3D copy of the store where the data coming from a series of sensors such as the digital labels on the products on the shelf converge, therefore prices, references and promotions, in the image of the store's offer. Updates arrive in real time from the warehouse and checkout, offering retailers the possibility, for example, of helping customers navigate the store following their own shopping list but also of better managing the warehouse. Or you can create the digital twin of a product and build around it all the style and branding part, and then propose it in real time to the media.
In eCommerce, the challenge is to create digital twins of the same consumers, in which all the data regarding previous purchases, purchasing behavior, activity on social media converge. In this way it is possible to predict behaviors and also to influence them proactively.
3. New convenience
From the latest surveys on online shopping it emerges that the 97% of those who have abandoned the cart did so for a problem of convenience. For various reasons, the pandemic has sparked a new desire to make the shopping experience more easily adaptable to one's purposes, desires and situations: it is the concept of new convenience or new convenience in retail 2021.
Some startups such as the Australian Afterpay or the Italian are active in this area Scalapay, that allow you to pay for a product in installments, or to test it and then decide when to pay.
New convenience also means being able to receive food at home or have any other product delivered, especially in a period of health emergency in which access to restaurants and shops is prohibited or not recommended. Thus, logistics ends up turning into a commodity. “People now expect all home deliveries to be as free as Amazon's. In this case - he emphasizes Stefano Azzalin, CEO of dPixel - the convenience of the user risks becoming an 'inconvenience' for the company, which must adapt to completely changed times ”.
4.Click & collect
With the pandemic there has been a significant increase in click & collect, or the possibility of ordering one or more products online and then picking them up in the store.
“It happened - he explains Alessandro Barchetti, Digital & Innovation Director of Unes Supermercati - because, with the first lockdown, it was seen that the availability of home delivery by the large-scale retail trade was limited. Furthermore, the customer experiences click & collect as a situation of greater security: when he goes to collect the goods he can decide to check if everything is in order and possibly contest the delivery, even if in the vast majority of cases he does not. After all, those who rely on home delivery remain fond of it because it is the method that causes less friction. However, in this perspective, the future could lie in delocalized lockers. For example in the condominium locker ".
Source: Luciana Maci for EconomyUp