The situation experienced in recent months has completely modified the consumption habits of Spaniards, but has this reality been transferred to shops? While some companies have found a business opportunity in this situation, many live it with uncertainty.
Although it is difficult to determine what the future will be like, we can draw conclusions about the changes in the consumption habits of Spaniards to learn and adapt businesses accordingly.
One of the great trends that marked the retail agenda at the beginning of 2020 was e-commerce which, after confinement, has established itself as one of the purchase options preferred by consumers. In fact, online sales revenue in the US has risen 68%, while globally online sales have grown 146% compared to the same time last year. In addition to this, we have detected other trends that are gaining prominence in the retail sector :
Strengthen e-commerce to streamline payments and order management
The closing of the stores during the three months of confinement has highlighted the importance of evaluating all aspects of eCommerce. Those brands that intend to grow in the coming months will need to ensure that their commerce is as fast, easy, and efficient as possible. It is no longer enough that web pages have a good design and offer a good shopping experience during the checkout process, but it is equally important to optimize the shipping process and work with specialized suppliers in order management to ensure that the Shipping and returns go smoothly.
From store to the plate in one click
The food sector, and more specifically the supermarket chains, were one of the retailers with the most workload during the months of confinement. However, they could not escape fears of physical store buying, which led to an increase in online grocery purchases, practically tripling the volume of the online food industry overnight.
This change of channel has allowed many consumers to discover the advantages of paying someone else to make the purchase for them, making it very likely that many of them continue to pay Instacarts and Ships to make their purchases in supermarkets. Although the sector currently dominates the contracting of home delivery services, it is increasingly common for large supermarkets to offer their consumers purchase programs in a physical store and home delivery or simply a completely online service program.
Payments will be contactless
Cash is the oldest form of money exchange in our society. However, it has always been considered, even before the start of the pandemic, as a point of spread of germs between the person who pays and the one who receives the money. For this reason, in the current context, it is situated as one of the critical points of the purchasing process, together with the mobile sales terminals of the shops.
This explains why contactless or contactless payment is one of the great alternatives in this new normal. Aware of this, many retailers have already implemented alternatives such as e-wallets, Apple Pay, or contactless credit cards and it is to be expected that others will follow this trend.
Amazon is the undisputed leader of Checkout Free, a purchase model that already works in Amazon Go supermarkets and that completely revolutionizes the concept of a physical store since it allows customers to make their purchase without having to checkout to make the payment. The company’s technology is responsible for updating the shopping list in a virtual way as the consumer chooses the items they want to buy in the physical store so that the customer only has to choose and leave the store. At the same moment, in which the trade is abandoned, Amazon collects the items virtually and sends the purchase receipt to the consumer application.
At the beginning of this year, the company began to prepare a patent to be able to offer this same technology to other companies in the sector. Although it is not yet widespread, it is set to be one of the trends in the future of retail, as it could be very effective in ensuring consumer safety by avoiding direct contact with store personnel and transmission to through cash or credit card payment.
Home delivery or food had been established as one of the great consumer trends in recent years. So it is not surprising that it played an important role during the pandemic and that companies have been forced to incorporate new measures to ensure the safety of their customers and employees. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Walmart had already launched the “curbside pick-up”, becoming at that time one of the most popular options, but it has been the coronavirus that has forced it to popularize it among many shops, thus facilitating the recommended safety distances between the delivery person and the customer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in many ways, causing massive loss of life and the collapse of many economic markets. Retail trade, in particular, has been drastically affected, leading to store closures and job losses. However, as the world begins to resurface after a few months of hiatus, it is inevitable to wonder how this situation will affect society and what will have changed or will remain once the situation is resolved. Although many unknowns and uncertainties remain regarding what our future will be like, changes in habits at the social and consumer levels are already starting to guide what it seems will be the trends in the coming months: more online consumption with less contact.