The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant learning experience for retail leaders. They learned how to adapt their business models, reimagine customer experiences and pivot their strategies to align with new behaviors and expectations. While the industry and consumers keep evolving, we found these four foundational trends emerge:
The explosion of e-Commerce: We saw e-Commerce sales surge at the height of the pandemic. We will continue to see shoppers rely more on the ease, convenience and vast assortments found online, even as stores continue to open.
Heightened adoption of omnichannel fulfillment: Many consumers reduced their in-store shopping trips to minimize risk of exposure. They also relied on more flexible fulfillment options such as curbside pickup, which shook up frontline employees’ to-do- lists.
A reimagination of the store: Retailers retooled their store layouts and merchandising in order to maximize efficiency and support safe, socially distanced trips throughout the store.
Adoption of new store safety policies: Many of these were adapted based on national and local COVID-19 guidelines, but many retailers also established consistent rules regarding mask wearing, social distancing and even store sanitation to keep shoppers and frontline associates safe.
Read this guide on how all of this change has impacted the frontline and what businesses can do to build a frontline that’s ready for anything.