Last year, consumers and retailers alike readily adopted new digital and “phygital” shopping behaviors that look like they’re here to stay. Double-digit growth in U.S. ecommerce is expected to continue in 2021 with digital sales in the U.S. set to surpass $1 trillion in 2022. And yet, physical retail still maintains a firm foothold: Forrester predicts that 72% of retail will still take place offline as far out as 2024.
Where does that leave retailers? In a very similar place as they have been for the last decade — in search of true omnichannel alignment. The difference now is that the accelerations of the last 18 months have advanced both merchants’ and consumers’ understanding of — and willingness to adopt — new technologies that bridge the divide between physical and digital.
This Retail TouchPoints tech guide offers a glimpse at what the lies ahead for the future of omnichannel retail and key considerations that retailers should keep in mind, including:
- Consumers no longer distinguish between physical and digital retail; to them it’s all one brand experience, and retailers need to have the same mindset;
- The advancements of the last year have made it clear that consumers want less friction and more options in their shopping experiences;
- The integration of technologies like AR, 3D modeling and visual recognition are bringing commerce experiences to the individual level via the mobile phone; and
- Modular ecommerce ecosystems are becoming the norm as functions get more sophisticated and speedy adaptation becomes a necessity.
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