This article is part of Raydiant’s Future of Brick and Mortar Retail series featuring interviews with industry experts and thought leaders with the goal of providing actionable insights that can help brick and mortar retailers prepare for what lies ahead.
The following is an interview we had with Cami Zimmer, Chief Business Officer at Glympse.
What are the 3-5 top trends that will shape brick and mortar retail in 2021?
1. Curbside pickup will grow even more than it did in 2020. This service has gone from being a luxury to being, for some particularly at-risk individuals, a necessity. What was once seen as something to focus on years down the road is now a “here to stay”.
2. The increase of tech-driving solutions merging together, for instance – AI, robotics, virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR), IoT, location-based tech and more.
3.Autonomous deliveries and fulfillment. The pandemic has helped accelerate the acceptance and adoption of this trend.
What technologies will have the biggest impact on brick and mortar retail in 2021?
- Location-based technology will see an even more increase in play with the likes of more delivery and curbside pick-up.
- Augmented reality (AR), machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) are here to stay. According to a Nielsen global survey from 2019, consumers listed Augmented and Virtual Reality as the top technologies they’re seeking to assist them in their daily lives, with 51% saying they would be willing to use AR technology to assess products.
What should brick and mortar retailers be doing now to prepare for 2021?
CZ: Really taking a deep look at their curbside pick-up solutions – are they just the in-store BOPIS experience moved outside to the curb? If so, start considering the right partner to make that experience more seamless. Think about utilizing the power of location to provide a good customer and operational experience, as well as providing omnichannel communication to allow your customers to engage with your brand when and how they want through their channel of choice.
In the midst of so much change and uncertainty, what’s the future of brick and mortar retail look like?
CZ: 2020 has certainly been a tough year for brick-and-mortar retail, but the future of brick-and-mortar retail stores is far from dead, in my opinion. They will for sure transform and innovate even more in the coming years. To remain relevant, retailers need to adapt to technological changes today – and make sure to build valuable relationships with their customers. It’s important to remember that you can no longer afford to guess what your customers desire. Thanks to technology, we’re able to really get to know customers better and connect/interact with them.
The habits we are forming as consumers right now are going to stick with us after the pandemic is over. Retailers who act on location-rich data to place products where customers are, then personalize the shopping experience to suit new habits will excel in the post-pandemic era.