Find out what post-pandemic shopping trends will mean for your business, and how the IT support specialists at Vista Technology Support can help.
What are consumer trends following the recent pandemic?
Find out what post-pandemic shopping trends will mean for your business, and how the IT support specialists at Vista Technology Support can help. Whether you need added EPoS maintenance, Retail IT support, or project management to deploy technology and expand your operations, we can deliver the support that’s right for your business.
Physical retail never died, but it’s evolved
People are shopping in person again, but there are a few key differences , compared with the pre-pandemic environment. Customers are now self-servicing more than ever, and more and more retailers are offering a wider range of self-service options. Self-service helps to manage staffing costs, but it also means your IT systems can make or break your sales. If you’re expanding your self-service infrastructure, then our IT support specialists can help to ensure it stays running efficiently so that you don’t lose sales due to service outages.
The other major difference is the huge expansion in contactless and on-line payments in stores. Again, this means that your retail IT infrastructure is absolutely vital in taking the majority of your payments and ensuring you have a great team on hand for quality EPoS and self-service kiosk support is therefore more important than ever.
Physical retail also now provides the critical logistics and stock warehousing infrastructure that enables retailers to sell products and fulfil customer orders from anywhere, providing retailers with a global view of stock inventory and the customer with a seamless convenient shopping experience.
On-line shopping’s expansion is here to stay but the lines are blurred
After ecommerce exploded following the lockdowns of early 2020, on-line shopping now has a bigger piece of the retail pie than ever before, and isn’t set to go anywhere. With more competition for shoppers on-line, traditional bricks and mortar businesses need a smooth and convenient user experience to offer their customers, and solid IT infrastructure is the foundation on which this is delivered.
During the pandemic, pure play on-line retailers capitalised on a surge in demand due to physical stores being closed for extended periods, restrictions on trading and consumer anxiety. According to figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on-line sales rose from 22% to 32% of all retail transactions during the first wave of the pandemic (May 20). Since then on-line sales peaked at 38% in Jan 21 before making a steady decline to 26% in (Oct 22) just 4% higher than pre-pandemic measurements. These trends remained consistent throughout November and December 2022.
The lines between physical store, mobile and on-line transactions are now very blurred with many retailers adopting strategies to blend all sales so that customers can purchase what they want from a location that suits them – resulting in sales transactions subsequently being recorded against the channel in which the customer journey commenced. For example, if a customer made a purchase via a retailer’s website but collected in-store, the sale will be reported as on-line. Similarly, some stores using product lookup and ordering screens instore might report any purchases made and delivered to the customer’s home or local pick-up-point as an on-line sale. The ONS by its own admission has no way of disaggregating the blurred lines of today’s retail transactions.
Physical stores now play a far more significant role in the customer journey and therefore retailers have invested heavily in store, warehouse and logistics technology to help them provide stock accuracy and a seamless customer experience.
At Vista Technology Support, we can provide you with a comprehensive service to deploy new retail technology and support your in-store IT systems, so that your colleagues can be free to provide your customers with great shopping experiences.
Get in touch with our IT support specialists today for expert, physical retail IT deployment and support : 03450700393.