The Janssen Covid-19 vaccine received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently. This brings to three the number of Covid-19 vaccines that U.S. citizens can use to fight the coronavirus.
This means that the whole pandemic may be over soon and that everything will go back to normal. But the new normal may not be the same as the old normal way of life. The same thing will happen in the retail industry, which initially suffered when the authorities issued shelter-at-home directives. Here are some things that retail businesses can expect in a post-pandemic world.
Online Stores Are Necessary
When the pandemic started, many retailers were caught flat-footed since they relied mainly on customers who want into their physical stores. While many businesses closed due to the pandemic, others were quick enough to set up an online presence for their stores. These online stores offered the same products they used to offer on the physical stores.
After the pandemic ends, retailers will continue to strengthen their online presence as people will continue to shop online. Retailers that do not have an online store yet can hire a web developer to set up their online store. They can join many other retailers who are already doing well by selling products online.
To get ahead of their competition, they can hire digital marketers to bring up their stores’ rank on the search engine results page (SERP). Retailers will soon appreciate the value of an online presence since they can reduce the space they are renting for their physical store and focus on the online side of their business.
More Delivery and Pickup Options
The pandemic also increased the popularity of delivery and pickup service. This is particularly true for the elderly population, who were quite vulnerable to diseases. They had to resort to having food and groceries delivered to their homes since they couldn’t leave their homes due to health concerns.
Food delivery services saw an increase in demand as more people order food rather than going to the restaurant to eat. This came even with the easing of restrictions, and restaurants started to accept walk-in diners.
The new normal will likely see the same situation as the popularity of delivery and pickup services will continue. Businesses may even employ a courier services to deliver smaller orders to reserve their delivery drivers for bigger orders.
Increase the Use of Contactless Payment
Before the pandemic, the United States was slow in adopting contactless payment, and other countries around the world outpaced the U.S. But this changed during the pandemic as more people started to see contactless payment as a way for them to avoid getting infected by the virus. The social distancing guidelines further highlighted the importance of using the technology.
When the pandemic ends, the popularity of contactless payment will continue to increase. The in-store experience of customers will change as plexiglass barriers may remain. With this, many brick-and-mortar stores across the country will likely offer contactless payment options.
The use of contactless payment will be as ubiquitous as the credit cards in the past. This makes people feel safer even as everyone moves towards a world where the threat of the virus goes down.
More Checkout-free Shopping
When Amazon initially offered its checkout-free shopping experience in 2018, it piqued the interest of many consumers. The system allowed shoppers to enter the store using their credit cards. They go to the shelves of products they intend to purchase and simply walked out with the products without going through a cashier.
The Just Walk Out technology of Amazon detects the item or items the shopper takes out of the store and their accounts. The technology eliminates the need to line up at a checkout counter to pay for purchases. If shoppers want a receipt, they can pass by a kiosk inside the store and type in their email address. The system will email the receipt to the shoppers.
The e-commerce giant has been using the technology at its stores for a couple of years already. And industry watchers expect its use to continue and even offered to other retailers across the country. The technology hits two birds with one stone. It promotes social distancing since shoppers do not need to line up at a checkout counter anymore. The technology also facilitates contactless payment since the system detects the items the shopper takes out and simply charges their account. This can be an intriguing concept that many stores may adopt in the future.
The pandemic may be coming to an end, but the retail industry will still carry the vestiges of what happened in 2020.
Meta title: Retail Industry Trend After the Pandemic
meta desc: The retail industry evolved considerably during the pandemic. Find out what people can expect to see in retail stores around the country after the end of the pandemic.