There is no question that whatever we predicted would happen to retail in 2020 was quickly changed with the onslaught of the pandemic.
2020 forced bricks and mortar stores to expand their online presence and offer curbside pickup in order to survive. Customer behavior also changed due to working from home, home-schooling and the desire to shop online for essentials such as groceries and health products. Professional work attire was no longer needed, and sweats and athletic gear became the norm for virtual meetings.
Online stores not only had to deal with more competition, but some also had to look at different ways of attracting customers as marketplaces such as Amazon gave priority to essential product sellers.
As the pandemic continues to influence how we live and shop, many of these trends are predicted to continue throughout much of 2021. So what are the things that retailers need to do to arm themselves with the tools to attract shoppers and outstrip the competition?
In 2020 we learned that the retail supply chain was pushed to its limits by the pandemic, and this trend is likely to continue. Retailers should expand their supply chain partners in order to be able to respond to unpredictable demand and be able to step in where the competition fails, either on product supply or ability to deliver in a timely manner. Optimization of omnichannel fulfillment to customers and analysis of shopper behavior data will also be invaluable.
Last year’s experience has shown that technology to give you real-time inventory visibility and the ability to source products from the closest possible warehouse or supplier should be a top priority for 2021!
If you are struggling with inventory management, contact xocbox to learn how we can help.