Ed Durbin, Global Director of Retail Solutions, VMware
The last couple of years showcased the very best of retail. Innovation and adaptability have been the baseline but, the trait that has shone through above all others is resilience. Of course, there have been some casualties along the way but, by and large, the determination to survive has been awe-inspiring. And now, as the world ‘goes again’, it is the time for those retailers to thrive.
The seismic changes and challenges of recent years have prepared retailers for the rapid and continuous adaptations the sector is now about to experience. A new era, inspired by technology, is upon us driven by 10 key trends highlighted in our NRF 2022 Trends Report.
Radical retail change
To get an idea about where the sector is heading, you need to look at what is happening today. According to PwC, the percentage of companies investing in omnichannel experience has increased to more than 80% from 20% during the pandemic. To give that some context, a study from Juniper Research forecast that the value of global eCommerce payment transactions will exceed $7.5 trillion globally by 2026, up from $4.9 trillion in 2021 – a growth rate of 55%. Juniper Research predicts that this growth will be driven by “retailers offering compelling omnichannel retail experiences that increase user eCommerce spend”.
We’re already seeing some embodiment of this. Alphabet’s Wing drone delivery service has been trialed in Australia during 2021 and may expand into full operation in 2022, having successfully delivered 10,000 cups of coffee without a single mishap or accident, according to the company. Elsewhere, virtual changing room technology is already being implemented by stores like Sephora, Target, Ikea, and more. So, what are the technologies driving such radical change in retail?
10 tech trends emerging from this year’s NRF in New York
- Supply chain
- Automation ESG (Environmental, Societal and Governance)
- Immersive – Being able to offer the retail customer an ‘immersive’ experience is about frictionless continuity, security and dependability regardless of channel or customer profile. Retailers must ensure their strategy, brand, ESG commitments, technology, supply chain, associates, and their customers, are all authentically connected.
- Making retail resilient