When the calendar rolled over to 2020, no one could have anticipated the amount of disruption the retail and restaurant industries would face in the coming months. Confronted with unprecedented adversity, merchants need your help adjusting their businesses to meet the safety and service-level needs of their customers while ensuring they maintain revenue streams and profitability. Here are four retail trends for 2020 that your customers can’t afford to overlook.
- Unattended kiosks—Minimizing unnecessary person-to-person contact is the goal of many retailers today. Some are reducing the human element by offering unattended kiosks and vending machines. Airport retailer Hudson made recent news when it announced an initiative to install personal protection equipment (PPE) vending machines in some airports. Some kiosk solutions reduce touch even more by allowing customers to browse and pay for items on their phones.
- Contactless payments—The slow ramp-up of contactless payments in the U.S. got a boost when the World Health Organization warned customers that cash might aid in the transmission of germs and viruses. Although unlikely, consumers aren’t taking risks and many banks and payment processors have revealed significant increases in contactless payments. Most merchants who underwent EMV upgrades should have terminals ready for contactless chip cards and NFC (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay), but they might not know it. Work with your payment vendors to ensure your merchants can accept contactless payments, then make sure your merchants are educated on this popular payment method.
- E-commerce growth—It’s not a hot take to say that e-commerce was already a significant trend in retail. However, in the first half of 2020 we saw many merchants struggle more than others because they lacked adequate e-commerce functionality to maintain sales. There are still many retailers who need their online posture improved with your assistance. Ensure your software solutions include features such as real-time inventory, multiple shipping and pickup options (see BOPIS next), various payment choices, and CRM and marketing functionality.
- Buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS)—Also known as click-and-collect, BOPIS gives customers the convenience and safety of online shopping but allows them to avoid checkout lines by picking up the items at their convenience. Retailers typically have dedicated BOPIS pickup areas. Some have adopted self-service BOPIS lockers that allow customers to pick up their orders without any human interaction. Apart from the improvements to customer service and safety, BOPIS can bring customers into the store for potential upsell opportunities. A recent study showed that 85% of shoppers make additional in-store purchases when they pick up items they purchased online.
These are just four examples of how you can help retailers through this unique time. As a trusted advisor, it’s up to you to understand the different challenges each of your customers face and then offer solutions built to overcome those challenges. However, you don’t have to solve these problems on your own. Contact Angie Lawrence
, Ingram Micro’s POS and payments expert, for assistance in addressing the retail trends for 2020 and beyond.
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