We’re living at a time when it’s equal parts exciting and challenging to be in the world of retail and wholesale. Consumer expectations are seemingly higher than ever before, and consumer behavior is evolving retailer business models everywhere.
There are 3 critical trends in retail we know will only grow as we look ahead into 2021. Here are a few solutions you can explore to help meet your customer’s demands, and set your retail or wholesale business up for success.
3 Retail Trends in 2021
1. Click, Deliver… Click, Return
Does your fastest fulfillment effort still feel sluggish? Welcome to the retail of today and tomorrow.
In 2021 (and beyond), shoppers want their delivery yesterday and that means you, as a retailer or wholesaler, have to be fast… really, really fast. There has been exponential growth in consumer desire for speed and accuracy. Same-day delivery, fast and simple returns, and quick picking are becoming the rule of retail and wholesale.
Feel like you’re drowning in the consumer or retailer demand for speed? There are micro-fulfillment and automated storage solutions for your retail business regardless of your size and scale. McMurray Stern offers micro-fulfillment options that work in as small as 5,000 square feet of space allowing you to keep up with same-day delivery or in-store pick up.
If you’re struggling with returns, the WAMAS® warehouse management suite provides you a variety of tools to handle both incoming goods and customer returns. Once an item is returned and checked for quality, it is put directly into the system for a quick sale.
For incoming goods, WAMAS starts to assign storage locations, even before items arrive at the receiving dock. You save time and have faster inventory throughput.
2. Omnichannel Expectation
An omnichannel approach to retail is no longer optional or aspirational. It is a consumer expectation. Your shopper wants to access your retail brand at every touchpoint, and be rewarded for their loyalty.
Is your retail brand flourishing across all platforms? If not, it’s probably time to think about automation. Automated storage and retrieval solutions can help you grow your retail brand and business across all sales channels without feeling constantly overwhelmed.
By automating your apparel logistics, storage, and return handling, you’ll be able to meet same-day shipping orders just before cut-off shipping deadlines. Conveyors and auto-guided transport systems to automatic picking systems, we partner with SSI Schaefer to find customized automation solutions that will give you a higher level of efficiency and procedure for your storage needs.
Of course, of all possible sales channels, e-commerce continues to be the top choice for retail. If you’re struggling to grow effectively into e-commerce, we have automation and IT software solutions to help you with priority orders, including same-day shipping or loyalty rewards programs.
3. Retail Customer Experience Matters
Retailers are hustling to figure out how to bridge the gap between consumer demand for e-commerce and the brick-and-mortar store. This is where the idea of an “experiential shopping approach” in retail has grown dramatically over the past several years. Take Nike’s “House of Innovation” stores in Shanghai and New York City for example. Nike’s entire brick-and-mortar model is now focused on the customer journey, experience, and increasing brand loyalty. And as a wholesaler, you need to recognize this retail trend, and its importance relative to your fulfillment speed and accuracy.
Now, perhaps you’re reading this and thinking, well that’s good for Nike… I am a mid-sized retailer. What am I supposed to do about this trend?
You can start by removing the stress of trends 1 and 2. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the desire for click and delivery or the omnichannel expectation, you’re not going to be able to focus on delivering a superior customer experience that goes beyond basic customer service. The reality is, though customers do still shop physical storefronts, there is an increasing expectation of a digital in-store experience. Digital interactions influence up to 75% of all in-store visits, and mobile is leveraged in almost half of all in-store shopping meaning your customers are literally utilizing your online experience while they’re in the store.
So make sure you are set up to remove the stress and constraints placed on your business across all channels with regard to fast, easy, seamless automated systems. Then, you can focus on improving and exceeding the expectations of customer experience (both in-store or online).
There are solutions to help you get there! Curious about how McMurray Stern can help? Our consultants are ready when you are.
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