August 12, 2020

The Top 5 Ways COVID-19 Has Changed Retail

As retail begins to reopen in many countries following lockdown, we analyse how COVID-19 has changed the face of retail forever, and what retailers must do to adapt to these changes.

The landscape of the retail sector has been changed forever in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The fallout from COVID-19 will be a challenging road to navigate for many retailers as they continue to explore their new normal. However, there are many things retailers can do to ease the burden of going back to business as usual. We’ve put together some trends and solutions we’ve observed from the market to help you explore your new normal faster and safer.

1. Queueing: An issue that still needs to be addressed

Since social distancing precautions have been imposed, lining up to queue has become part of the shopping ritual. Yet, as stores begin to reopen, shoppers will no longer put themselves at unnecessary risk. Solutions that are aimed at reducing contact between people and physical checkout methods (like self-checkout kiosks and scanning guns) will be a staple for shoppers in a post-COVID-19 world. Shoppers are demanding new technologies that can help them shop safer and smarter, especially if that means giving them the ability to avoid queues. It’s no surprise then, that there has been a surge in the number of retailers offering solutions like scan and go and curbside pickup.

 

2. An increase in contactless tech

Shoppers are fully aware of how COVID-19 can spread in everyday settings. A recent study by Shekel has found that approximately 87% of shoppers prefer to shop in stores with contactless or robust self-checkout options. Another study carried out by MasterCard found that 46% of shoppers have “swapped out their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless” and 74% say “they will continue to use contactless after the pandemic is over”.

It’s safe to assume then, that this trend doesn’t look like it will revert to pre-COVID-19 levels. Therefore retailers must adapt and even more so, promote the benefits of touchless technology, out of a duty of care.

 

3. Cash’s decline

With an increase in touchless technology comes with it the inevitable decrease in cash transactions. The W.H.O has warned that COVID-19 can be carried on banknotes making them a ripe vessel for transmission.

Retailers and stores that choose not to heed the warning will need to prepare for the consequences of not moving their payment methods to digital platforms.

To learn about how retailers are reducing their reliance on cash, click here.

 

 

4. Order ahead and online delivery numbers surge

A study by Adobe’s eCommerce division found that online purchases of grocery items had surged up to around 69% for non-perishables and 58% for “shelf-stable” items respectively. Additionally, mobile delivery services like Uber Eats have seen a 30% increase in user sign up. Deliveroo has also partnered with Marks and Spencers, enabling shoppers to buy grocery items and have them delivered to your doorstep in under 30 minutes. Both retailers and technology solution providers need to think about tailoring their products and platforms. By including order ahead and delivery features or even additional products and partnerships that wouldn’t necessarily be apart of their core offering, retailers and solution providers can benefit in both the short and long term.

 

5. Customer needs will continue to drive innovation

What is certain is that all of these changes and trends are due to evolving customer needs. Needs that customers and shoppers didn’t anticipate until an unprecedented event like the outbreak of COVID-19 forced them to realise. Shoppers and retailers have had to react to things like social distancing and other precautionary measures, essentially transforming the shopping landscape. Similarly, technology solution providers have had to shift their focus when it comes to innovation to cater to these trends and this new normal. This is especially true for us at MishiPay. We’ve been working hard to explore how we can launch our technology in your stores faster. Our Scan and Go technology can now be deployed in your stores in as little as 2 weeks.

MishiPay’s Scan and Go technology can be deployed even faster

 

Our team has been working to streamline our service so your customers can enjoy the safety and seamlessness of mobile self-checkout, faster. Get in touch to learn more.

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