Top 10 retail and shopping trends in 2021

Hassle-free shopping not only brings the right product home but procures inner satisfaction as well. Drastic changes have been observed in online and physical shopping trends from 2018 to 2021. A glimpse of 5 years way back will surely make you understand what we exactly want to say.

People of 2021 are willingly accepting more digital ways when it comes to shopping. Pakistan e-Commerce Market has been increasing sales number by 27% per annum from 2019 onwards, according to the report “E-commerce in Pakistan 2020” shared by EcommerceDB Statista.

Among these e-commerce businesses, the fashion industry is playing a vivacious role in revenue-generating.
The top 10 brands of Pakistan are leading the industry right now includes Gul Ahmad, Khaadi, Limelight, Alkaram Studio, Junaid Jamshed, Zeen Woman, Sapphire Online, Sana Safinaz, Minnie Minor and Stylo.

It is the digital transformation of the retail industry that enforced millions and billions of people around the world to prefer online shopping rather than visiting brick and mortar stores. However, e-commerce businesses struggling to bring more digital experience within their stores as well and few have already implemented those.

According to the same Statista report, 58% of people immediately seek help from online resources when going to choose the right product for them. The reason behind this is the range of product availability across the internet and its variation in price or quality.

Below we have discussed the top 10 trends of retail and shopping in 2021 which has enforced the transformation of the retail paradigm.

Trend # 1: Usage of Mobile phones

It is obvious to say that people are now becoming more used to mobile phones. Smartphones are the immediate search- choose-buy way for any customer. Bringing e-commerce more towards digital transformation, mobile phones have played a great role. E-commerce and retail businesses are introducing technologies to improve the mobile experience further. Almost 70% of the online purchase is recorded through mobile phones.

Mobile applications have become the real e-commerce game changer now. This digital technology has provided an in-hand shop for hassle-free product selection with only a thumb tap. From the mentioned brands Gul Ahmad, Khaadi, Limelight, Junaid Jamshed, Sapphire Online, Sana Safinaz, Minnie Minors and Stylo already have one.

Trend # 2: AR and Technology

Augmented Reality (AR) Technology can be seen implemented in e-commerce stores of various American and European states. But now, this technology is be-sticking gradually its claws in the Pakistan retail industry as well. Sapphire is the top example of AR implementation in its fashion app with the 3D feature. Small apps like Virtual wear, accessories trials are being used by other brands as well based on AR which is still under the process of improvement. Gradually trending this feature is gaining customer attention more towards trying things on before making a purchase.

Trend # 3: AI assistance for merchants

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another highly important factor that is transforming customers and merchants’ experience in relation to the retail industry. Merchants are taking help from AI to track the customer journey and their buying behaviour. This technology in the retail industry is providing consolidated results to the merchants based on which they can make effective plans for a better return on sales.

AI has not been implemented in-stores in the Pakistan e-commerce industry yet but is implemented in online resources like a website or mobile apps.

Trend # 4: Influencer Marketing

As mentioned earlier, shoppers are most likely to approach the internet when it comes to perfect product selection. From where shoppers get the accurate product details and reviews?

Social media channels – A great benefit for retail industries to approach their target audience. Your single click, scroll or even browsing is being recorded if you’re using any social media platforms or any other source on the internet. Digital technology in retail has been transformed. Based on customers’ demographic data, retail solutions make decisions and market products exactly for you to get product updates while browsing.

The future of digital retail is also dependent upon influencer marketing techniques with which brands can reach the target audience easily and with less budget. Marketers are generating creative content that helps attract people while they scroll through on their smartphones.

Trend # 5: Social Commerce

The term social commerce is self-explanatory. Due to the great hit of COVID-19, the most affected part of businesses was the brick and mortar stores. People prefer online shopping instead of going to the store physically just as a precaution. The Lockdown scenario made the situation even worse.

Many e-commerce brands emerged with their e-shop on social media without having a complete website. Due to social commerce, customers were able to make a purchase easily through a few clicks with the COD mode of payment. Social commerce brought customer’s trust and satisfaction for that brand making it more reliable. Nowadays, most fashion brands consider it a need to create an Instagram or Facebook shop page with all their products enlisted there. This detailed technology is further getting automated. Brands are automating the e-commerce processes across all sales channels including websites, social platforms and mobile apps for customers to make an easy purchase.

Trend # 6: Usage of Chatbots

Chatbots are being used by e-commerce stores for several past years. However, now it has been increased and evolved in much better shape. Chatbots help visitors guide through the store and select the product which exactly they need. 24/7 availability of the bot enables the customer to interact anytime and get the update from the system. Whether it is to track the order or to find the right product. Chatbots are here to assist you with the best. According to brands analytics data, chatbots has raised sales of e-commerce businesses to 10%.

Trend # 7: Multiple payment way outs

Digital transformation in retail has made it far easier for customers to purchase through digital means. Customers nowadays are more likely to carry only credit/debit or Master cards with them. They do not prefer carrying cash amounts with them. The major reason which brought this change is the COVID-19 hit.

Payment methods have been made much efficient than before for easy payment process. Mobile wallets or banking apps have made online payment transfer easier than ever. Omnichannel solutions like Ginkgo Retail provides a wide range of payment options to the customers and a fast payment process to make hassle-free transactions.

Trend # 8: Ethical values for Customer Satisfaction

The ethical values of a brand matter a lot. Customers will make a purchase only if they are respected, treated well and provided with the best quality product. Shoppers will never make a purchase again if they are not satisfied with the way the brand deals. Keeping skilled salesman or staff is highly necessary but if they are not following the ethics which brand supports, customers will not return.

Trend # 9: Usage of Omnichannel solution for smooth operations

In order to connect retail with online resources, merchants may face issues related to platforms management. Managing retail business including online and offline resources is an extremely convoluted task. Merchants need to have a piece of complete information about all the processes to make smoother operation for customers’ best experience. Managing a multichannel platform is challenging as compared to the Omni channel solution. Merchants today are using Omnichannel solutions like Ginkgo to manage all e-commerce and retail operations smoothly. Ginkgo – a single desk digital retail solution that acts as a central hub connecting online sales channels with brick and mortar stores for evener operations including order management, order processing, inventory management, logistic management and multi-vendor/multi sales management.

Trend # 10: Purchase through product videos

Videography is the best solution to make customers understand the product better. Product videos cannot be considered a new technology in the retail industry but can be thought of as the best marketing approach for sales lift. You may have observed product videos as an ad on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook or any other social platform that you normally use. What happens when you are thirsty and suddenly see the coca-cola ad on the screen? It will surely increase your thirst to purchase it right away. Furthermore, advertisements that are based on short emotional stories grabs customer’s attention and trust in the brand.

Merchants nowadays are focusing more on this marketing technique to make people purchase more than before.

What technologies brought digital transformation in retail?

Technologies have highly evolved the retail industries at the global level. The technologies which are being used include AR, VR, AI, Blockchain, smart carts and much more. For more information on currently introduced technologies at the global level read through our article “10 Technology Push Factors to digitalize the Retail Industry.”

Pakistan is also not behind in the race of digital transformation in retail businesses. The E-commerce industry of Pakistan, especially the fashion industry has evolved a lot. Numerous technology and market push factors enforced Pakistani brands to step ahead in transforming into better.

Which Digital Technologies are the top 10 fashion brands of Pakistan are utilizing?

The benefits of digital transformation in retail are incalculable and the retail industry of Pakistan is well aware of this fact. The top 10 Retail brands of Pakistan including Gul Ahmad, Khaadi, Limelight, Alkaram Studio, Junaid Jamshed, Zeen Woman, Sapphire Online, Sana Safinaz, Minnie Minor and Stylo are utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology on the top of all.

They also have made mobile apps a must-have thing to be in business. These businesses understand that people of the new era are getting smarter and making smarter choices when it comes to getting a product. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps these brands to get such reporting to which is eventually used to make further strategies.

Apart from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and mobile apps, brands now have stepped into Augmented Reality as well. Sapphire has implemented AR technology as stated above. To be on the top, brands are now trying to implement Digital technologies in their brick and mortar stores as well for the best customer experience.

Written by

Usman Ali

Usman Ali

Experienced Digital Marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the eCommerce and digital marketing industry.

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