Retail Industry gets a New Avatar post Covid-19 pandemic
The covid-19 pandemic brought devastating changes for the retail world to face. As the world experienced a lockdown for months,sales dropped down like never before. Given below is the list of a few grappling challenges faced by the world due to the covid-19 pandemic-:
- Markets were shut
The global markets faced a complete lockdown for months in a row. Shutters went down worldwide. As a result, the sales tripped badly.
- Global gross rates went down
Global economies crashed terribly. Even the most advanced nations faced a major economic crisis.
- Increment in unemployment rates
A lot of people lost their jobs and many worked on half their salaries. As a result, a large section of consumers could barely afford to spend money on the basic needs and nothing else.
- Levelled up despair and uncertainty
Facing such a global pandemic wasn’t expected at all. Therefore, a resilient system of checks wasn’t readily available due to which crippling impacts of uncertainty and despair were faced.
Due to the reasons mentioned above, people are unwilling to spend money on anything except on the basic necessities. Affordability is going down like never before and even the savings are being consumed rapidly. Such situations result in increasing tension,stress and uncertainty about the future.
Taking into consideration the current scenario, there are various online and offline strategies adopted by the retailers worldwide to cope up with the losses faced. It has been observed that the recently adopted trends include digitalization of business to a great extent.
The latest trends in the retail industry are discussed as follows-:
Nowadays, when people are busier than ever, they expect everything starting from the basic necessities like food, groceries, clothes,etc to non-essential items like jewellery,accessories,footwear,gadgets,etc and even services like that of an electrician, beautician, plumber,etc. At home, that too just a click away. Even if retailers don’t work on the policy of providing everything under one umbrella brand or company, it is needed for them to be as reliable,quick, viable and simple to reach out as possible. A persistent and hard working team of skilled as well as unskilled labour is both required to be a part of such a job.
- Enhancing shopping experiences
The suppliers must always keep in mind to make a consumer’s shopping experience easy,smooth and wonderful. Too much obstructions, hassle and complications while ordering a product or service will definitely push a customer away and force him to stick to something more viable. Afterall, the market is huge, new brands enter into the race of competition almost everyday. Thus, providing the best experiences along with great quality products and services is absolutely important.
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence
The relatively fresh and new technologies of machine learning and artificial intelligence can do wonders to build customer satisfaction and hold interest in place. The concept of machine learning involves the system getting to track and know about the patterns using which the customer designs his shopping ideas. Based on these lessons, personalised shopping recommendations and lists are formulated which makes it easier for the consumer to shop.
- Visual searches and shopping assistance
The latest concepts of visualised shopping that works on the idea of uploading and searching for pictures of a commodity or service to be bought has made things easier for customers. Furthermore, a lot of time and effort is saved if the customer only speaks what kind of product is needed and it’s almost done. Audio information is just enough for the shopping assistant to know what is preferred to be ordered and bought.
- Transparency and protection
Winning over a rational consumer’s trust may be a tedious task to do if taken for granted. For this reason, having transparent and clear bill generation systems( mentioning the exact amount of products or services along with the taxes and discounts included ), transportation systems ( product delivery tracking options ) and customer review or feedback services provides a sense of accuracy and safety to the buyers.
Physically, as the shops shut down due to lockdowns, the retailers found other ways to earn business. The world shifted from offline to online mode, so did the marketing and shopping procedures. Online stores, thrift online shops, etc on various social media platforms flourishes and hyped up the business trends to great heights.
Bouncing back from such an economic recession is a tedious task to do for retailers and businessmen. Strategically planning the establishment of resilient and strong economically backed up systems is very important. Carefully monitoring the market trends under ‘new normal’ is also crucial.
At the end, this is all a part of the challenging phase that shall pass super soon if we face these circumstances together.
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