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 Kristina Azarenko, eCommerce & Technical SEO Consultant at MarketingSyrup.
What are the 3-5 top trends that will shape brick and mortar retail in 2021?
KA: COVID has changed everything and shifted consumers’ attention online. So the main trends for 2021 are:
- Online shopping experience will be preferred over the offline experience.
- Going digital and growing an online presence is the key for 2021.
- Customers will expect fast shipping.
What technologies will have the biggest impact on brick and mortar retail in 2021?
KA: Brick-and-mortar stores will need to embrace the digital aspect. This includes:
- Investing in their website to make it user-friendly.
- Investing in the channels to attract and re-engage users such as search engine optimization, paid ads and re-targeting, email marketing.
- Working on Google My Business profiles to provide customers with up-to-date working hours as well as highlight any offline or online offers.
What should brick and mortar retailers be doing now to prepare for 2021?
KA: If you haven’t done this already, you need to digitalize: start selling your products online, set up even basic email marketing with abandoned cart emails. Start working on long-term traffic generation channels such as SEO.
In the midst of so much change and uncertainty, what’s the future of brick and mortar retail look like?
KA: Even when the pandemic is over (hope it’ll happen sooner than later), this shift to the online world will still be observed. So even if a brick-and-mortar store has a huge history and many local customers, it’s important to expand and play bigger. Otherwise, even big stores with a long history can be replaced by modern online shops that use digital channels.