By Stephen Bergeron, V.P. of Sales & Marketing North America, APG Cash Drawer
Despite consumers’ growing dependence on digital shopping channels, nearly 92% of all sales in 2021 will be fulfilled through local brick and mortar stores, according to IHL research. Meanwhile, local stores are changing, as retailers rush to accommodate new shopping trends such as curbside pickup and BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store).
The IHL reports 36% of U.S. grocers and mass merchants are planning to have separate spaces at their stores for inventory to fulfill digital orders. Furthermore, 43% plan to introduce “dark stores” within two years, up from an estimated 5% today. Dark stores essentially are warehouses where shoppers can pick up their digital orders.
Accelerated Consumer Adoption
These changes are meant to increase, or at least maintain, competitiveness in a post-pandemic world. Retailers realize that shopping habits such as BOPIS and curbside pickup are not going away, even after most people are vaccinated and feel comfortable returning to stores.
A study by First Insight found that post-vaccination, 44% of respondents will go to stores as much or less for footwear, 45% for beauty products, 43% for electronics, and 40% for apparel. Findings such as these suggest retailers that have invested in online and digital channels have an advantage. Therefore, many see investments to support omnichannel strategies and digital journeys for shoppers as a priority.