The pandemic pummelled many sectors, but retailers have clawed their way back up from the canvas, renewed and even repurposed.
Online shopping has boomed, with customers now well accustomed to the greater choice, convenience and value that it can afford. But shoppers haven’t abandoned the in-store experience completely. If anything, they expect more from the high street than ever.
“Customers are definitely still interested in physical retail, but with digital touchpoints that enrich the shopping experience,” says Michael Bosshammer, Head of Retail, Elavon Europe. “Retailers need to embrace the lifestyle of their customers and offer them the convenience and fulfilment they demand.”
The blurring of lines between ecommerce and in-store shopping means consumers expect the full omnichannel experience. Shops must seamlessly facilitate click-and-collect services, returns or exchanges of items bought online – even ‘dark stores’, whereby traditional shop spaces are reallocated to process and fulfil online orders. All this alongside payment innovations such as contactless and digital wallets, QR codes and apps, scanning your own shopping at a self-checkout and personalised loyalty schemes.
And this is just the start of how retail is being revolutionised. Stay-ahead retailers are innovating to offer extra services that put the customer first, from video chats with in-store sales staff to assist when purchasing at home, to the use of clever camera technology to augment reality so customers can see how an item of furniture would look in their own living room.
Download The Future of Retail whitepaper to understand the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and how Elavon’s advanced payments technology means that even when your doors are closed, you’ll always be open for business.