Buy now, pay later services had a record year in customer acquisition during the pandemic. Now, companies like Afterpay and Affirm are turning to physical stores to market their installment payment options for customers. What began as an e-commerce checkout tool is becoming the latest tool to get shoppers back into stores.
As retailers increasingly open more stores in strip malls or open-air shopping centers, they're also rethinking what these locations should look like. Locations of Macy's new off-mall chain, for example run only 20,000 square feet, tens of thousands of feet smaller than the typical department store. As other retailers like Sephora and Foot Locker are looking at opening more off-mall locations, they're following similar playbook.
Burger King is the latest quick service restaurant to announce it's launching a customer rewards program. This week, the fast food chain joins rival McDonald's in piloting a loyalty program that encourages repeat purchases and digital orders. Many of these businesses incurred increased losses during the coronavirus outbreak -- and they likely see new digital programming as a way to try and garner more customer engagement.
While gyms rush to build out virtual workout products to retain members, seeking out corporate clients has become a growing trend within the industry. From nationwide players like Equinox and Gympass, to regional studios like Fhitting Room, the race to be featured in employers' wellness offerings has begun.
In 2020, retail workers could no longer just be salespeople. They also had to be safety officers, virtual stylists and shepherds of buy online, pickup in-store orders. The job of the employee changed every single month," said David Marcotte. senior vice president of cross-border retail at Kantar Consulting. In 2021, retail workers shouldn't be pulled in as many different directions -- but the lines between roles will likely continue to blur.
2020 was a big year for Walmart. Not only did the big box store benefit from essential bulk shopping throughout the pandemic, it also overhauled its image as a hub for not only big CPG brands, but young DTC labels. With an aggressive strategy to appeal to every type of consumer, Walmart is proving that at the end of the day, millions of Americans end up turning to it for their needs.
Since the fall, Minnesota-based Mall of America has teamed up with live-stream shopping app Popshop Live to stream products from within its network of stores. Simon Property Group -- a commercial real estate company that owns over 100 malls in the U.S. -- has reportedly struck a partnership with another livestream app, ShopShops. As the pandemic continues to exacerbate long-term revenue declines, these companies are hoping that livestreams will sell products without customers ever needing to enter a store.
With Christmas just days away, retailers are doing everything they can to try to get customers to not add to the online shipping backlog. While, at the same time, still getting customers to buy. For most retailers, that means offering extra incentives for last-minute customers to use same-day fulfillment options like buy online, pickup in-store, or to buy gift cards. But for retailers who don't have buy online, pickup in-store enabled at all of their store locations, they are instead charging extra --upwards of $20 -- for expedited shipping. It could cost them some last-minute shoppers.
With endless delays and and influx of last minute shoppers, retailers are turning to same day delivery to fulfill holiday-related orders. This has led many brands, including popular destinations like Apple to Best Buy, to offer same-day or two-hour home delivery.
Rite Aid's rebranding effort showcases the drugstore industry's ongoing need to stay relevant. Thanks to disruptors' arrival in recent years, chains like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have found even more reason to elevate their services and modernize their stores. Rite Aid's new strategy is yet another example of national pharmacies attempting to stay relevant in an increasingly digitized world.
This holiday season, the plethora of online shopping is already proving to be exhausting. To ease checkout and discourage store crowding, high end retailers -- typically rely on brick and mortar spectacles, decorations and enthusiastic store associates -- are offering "gifting experts" to ease the lift.
The role of the retail associate has historically been focused on store upkeep or helping customers. With the pandemic's lockdowns earlier this year, many retailers have found opportunities in asking their employees to adapt to their new hybrid online-brick and mortar strategy. These days, many workers are juggling fulfilling online orders, enforcing safety protocols and taking on virtual customer service duties.
While online sales are projected to rise over the holidays, many big-box retailers are still preparing for a rush of in-store traffic. So ahead of the holidays, many big-box retailers like Walmart and Target are making some tech upgrades in stores. To ensure customers who do shop in-store can get in and out while coming into contact with as few people as possible, retailers including Target and Walmart are adding more places to checkout through the store, as well as adding contactless payment options. They're also making upgrades to their store fulfillment services by making it easier for customers to adjust curbside or buy online pickup in-store orders within the retailers' app, and giving customers more contactless ways to pick up those items in stores.
After years of focusing on e-commerce shoppers in the U.S., Afterpay is adding an in-store installment payment options through its app. Retailers like Forever 21 and Levi's have signed on as partners, allowing Afterpay users to split their in-store purchase into four payments. This comes as retailers are trying to find ways to regrow sales -- and alternative payments solutions are clamoring to become leaders in the space.
Despite e-commerce’s rise, retailers are still betting that there's one transaction people will prefer to do in person: returns. Last week, Staples announced that it was partnering with Optoro, a returns processing startup. These types of partnerships were already becoming more common before the coronavirus outbreak. But it’s unclear if they’ll actually lead to more sales.
Every interaction a customer has with a brand is an opportunity to nurture the customer-brand relationship. This report highlights tactics that top brands are using to improve the customer experience.
At Modern Retail’s Livestream Commerce Trends, we’ll explore how the growth of livestream and video shopping trends are transforming how retailers, brands and marketing teams are engaging with consumers in-stream and live across social and owned-and-operated websites.REGISTER