In the 21st century, technology has overwhelmed almost all institutions, and our national economy isn’t an exception. We can observe how the wonders of modern science are constantly contributing to the success and development of business organizations today.
Incorporating these tech trends enhances the efficiency of your business operations while increasing the productivity of your workforce. Similarly, every sector continues to expand under the influence of modern technology. And it’s continuously being modified by the trends we’ll mention below. Also, the latest technologies are making retail, manufacturing, and other industries more sales-driven and customer-focused.
So, here are some trends that need your attention in 2021:
Trends to watch for in 2021
Automation helps companies reduce human-caused errors, enhance the workforce’s productivity, and provide better service quality to their customers. Now, we have automated commerce, which is shortened as “a-commerce.” It minimizes the number of steps users have to perform to accomplish a task. This trend overwhelmed most industries back in 2018, and — even in the post-COVID era — it will persist. Its many applications include the automation of purchasing as well as marketing sectors. In our fast-paced society, everyone struggles to save time. And automation is the perfect technique to achieve this objective. This facility will also polish your brand image as an ideal company.
Artificial intelligence allows entrepreneurs to provide customers high-quality service 24/7 without delays or interruptions — something human workers can’t do. Chatbots can now answer repeated questions posed by consumers tirelessly. There are renowned artificial intelligence solutions available online whose experts you can hire to unleash your data’s unlimited potential. Since AI doesn’t just improve customer service but also benefits logistics, inventory, and human resources, it provides valuable information from data to make informed decisions. Therefore, you should not miss out on data analytics or artificial intelligence as this trend will keep expanding this decade.
Entrepreneurs should focus on AI-based warehousing solutions as well to increase inventory instead of enhancing product availability. These solutions enable companies to satisfy any customer’s needs who walks into your store — online or physically. These AI-based tools also allow retailers to make their forecast inventory more accurate. You can reduce the risk of overselling and avoid stock-outs when artificial intelligence manages your warehouse. And this trend will continue growing even in 2021.
During the pandemic, the avoidance of human touch has rekindled a newfound interest among our shoppers for contactless payment options. These technologies existed before 2020 (e.g., Apple Pay). But coronavirus made customers more passionate about the tap-and-go facility as it ensures shorter queues and faster transactions. A Mastercard survey shows that over 80% of customers consider it a “cleaner way to pay.” Additionally, 74% of shoppers will prefer contactless payment even after COVID-19.
COVID left people craving to restore their previous lifestyles, and companies have a fantastic marketing opportunity with this desire. They can provide a real-life shopping experience to their customers by offering in-store settings to consumers visiting their stores online. These experiences include scent and sound-based moments where customers feel as if they’re wandering around an actual marketplace.
In lockdowns, people began relying more on online grocery-delivery services. Experts report that millions of global consumers started ordering groceries for the first time during the pandemic. Digital grocery sales increased by 54% in 2020 as COVID-19 has pushed people to avail of online means to get household essentials. Furthermore, this market will surpass $100 billion this year as more and more customers become first-time buyers of the online grocery industry.
You can also enhance customer experience by incorporating virtual and augmented realities. Many stores enable customers to browse through products via extended reality. It’s even become possible for viewers to “try on” products virtually. They can experience wearing several clothes and accessories, such as Tilly’s back-to-school scavenger hunt. In the future, technological advancements will even permit customers to share their virtual experiences with contacts to enhance their self-esteem.
The pandemic has changed the retail industry by instilling a fear of going out (FOGO). Even in 2019, around 90% of global shoppers conducted pre-store research before visiting that store physically. It means that they’ll spend more time surfing your website or Facebook page now before stepping inside your shop. So, if you aren’t accessible online, that’s a lot of foot traffic you’re losing there. Get yourself on the radar by integrating your POS with Google Maps and such sites.
Now, several visibility solutions (such as Pointy) enable retailers to acquire enhanced searchability on SERPs. These tools help you display your inventory items in real-time to viewers for getting more walk-in customers. Since consumers can observe what you have in store, they’ll be more willing to visit you. In 2020, Google acquired Pointy. It shows how this trend will continue to persist this decade. Companies should make information available digitally to attract more shoppers.
The global retail industry has experimented with autonomous delivery for improving its supply chain and service quality. When we talk about autonomous delivery, we mean aerial drones and self-driving cars for package delivery. We also have SADRs (sidewalk autonomous delivery robots) in 2021 that utilize pedestrian pathways to deliver your products. Even back in 2016, Domino’s started using robots for pizza delivery, becoming the first company to implement the DRU technology.
The coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses into recession temporarily as they dealt with inventory management while negotiating with their landlords. While some faced shutdowns, others went bankrupt in 2020 as the COVID outbreak persisted. But this pandemic accelerated the global adoption of technical solutions — from marketing to merchandising and from supply chain to customer service. And experts believe that these digital transformations will continue influencing every industry.
You have to rely on these trends to offer quick delivery to your customers and organize your warehouse. It’s now imperative for every company’s survival to adopt these trends and transform with the market.