Coronavirus: Tech’s pivotal role in retail amidst the pandemic
According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, India’s retail market is expected to cross $1 trillion by 2025, placing it amongst the top five retail markets in the world.
Just like every other year, towards the end of 2019, organisations and entrepreneurs geared up to boost their business further in 2020. Unfortunately, 2020 turned out to take an unexpected turn, and we are now dealing with one of the largest crises in world history.
Thankfully, we live in the day and age of technology. Amid the pandemic, almost every single business and citizen is banking on cutting-edge innovations to help them perform crucial day-to-day tasks.
The fast-evolving retail sector is no exception.
Tech integration has been on the rise in the retail industry. And, to say that this rapid adoption of technology has acted as a saviour during the pandemic would be an understatement. In these dark times, technology has acted as a beacon of light, guiding us towards progress.
Technological advancement over the years has managed to cushion the fall owing to the pandemic’s impact. For the retail industry which has taken a considerable hit, technology has proven to be indescribably useful to help it slowly, but surely, bounce back.
Let us take a look at technology’s pivotal role in retail during such unprecedented times.
Changing consumer behaviour
The outbreak of the coronavirus is certainly a wakeup call for businesses to up their game as this marks a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour. The pandemic has brought about decreased footfalls for the industry as customers are hesitant to make purchases, and the lockdowns in several countries have only limited their needs to essential items.
With the help of tech, however, retail stores have been able to assume an online presence and offer on-demand services that have become increasingly popular. Consumer behaviour and demand have truly evolved to stay in sync with the technology available.
Currently, the future of retail is actually unfolding right before our eyes. In times of such a global crisis where social distancing has become the norm, businesses that sell online will flourish. While online businesses have been around for a while, the pandemic has shed light on their importance to the economy and livelihoods.
Online businesses offer unlimited access to products regardless of time and place, thus creating a rise in demand. Brands and entrepreneurs adopting the latest trends and technologies will undoubtedly progress quickly with an expanded customer base and increased revenues.
Ecommerce enablers: Offering easy access to improve business
For entrepreneurs who have only recently ventured into this highly competitive and ever-evolving business environment, ecommerce enablers are a dream-come-true of sorts. Particularly for those without technical know-how, these e-commerce enablers facilitate their progress by offering easy access to technology and required handholding for them to further develop their businesses. This allows them to retain their customers and continue their business operations even in the face of adversities such as the current pandemic.
With the demand for essential items surging dramatically, small-time retail entrepreneurs can make the best of the situation by leveraging technology offered by platforms designed to boost their success. Ecommerce enablers act as catalysts in empowering small-time businesses to help them flourish in the increasingly competitive online setup.
For emerging entrepreneurs, it is also important to be mindful of the website they choose before displaying their products online. While choosing a website to sell your products, ensuring that it is reliable will help you avoid any complications in the long-term.
There are countless fraudulent acts taking place online and being wary before placing your trust in a website can go a long way.
Redefining retail through a personalised and seamless experience
In today’s age of the internet and technology, consumers across the globe are hyper-aware of their surroundings and the brands that they are engaging with. They are also presented with endless choices, which make them harder to please. They tend to browse through several shops and websites before they settle to buy a product from a particular brand.
Not just bigger brands, but even small-scale entrepreneurs are turning to customised products to improve customer satisfaction by catering to their needs precisely.
Customised products offer a sense of satisfaction and have become immensely popular over the years. Overall, entrepreneurs are looking to offer a seamless shopping experience for customers, which will, in turn, drive their business upwards.
In the current fast-paced business environment, taking your business online is mandatory and no longer optional. Almost all businesses across verticals are bound to benefit from a digital presence that emerges from taking their business online.
Even local kirana stores are now creating an online presence for themselves to boost their business further. With advanced tech-enabled features such as click and collect, contactless payments, customised products, and so on, the retail industry is bound to bounce back onto its feet in the coming months.
With continued and systematic efforts from the government, private organisations, and ecommerce enablers, budding entrepreneurs will be able to establish a strong footing to progress further.
(Edited by Aparajita Saxena)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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