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18 February 2021
Shopify identifies four key retail trends
Shopper research & insightE-commerce & mobile retailOmnichannel retail
A desire for more flexible payment options and the insight that consumers are “voting with their wallets” are among a quartet of important retail trends recently outlined by Shopify, the online commerce platform.
Why it matters
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a pre-existing shift in retail habits, particularly towards e-commerce and omnichannel solutions. With 1.7 million merchants worldwide using Shopify’s platform – and 10,000 larger, more complex enterprises utilising the “Shopify Plus” service – the company is well-placed to determine how digitally-led commerce is evolving.
The four trends
Consumers are “voting with their wallets”, with purchases often reflecting their deeper values. In response, last year Shopify launched a mobile-shopping assistant, called “Shop”, that offers lists of curated merchants, including local stores and Black-owned businesses.
Retailers are focusing on buyer retention. “We see large companies are pushing acquisition costs up in their bid to attract customers,” said Harvey Finkelstein, Shopify’s president, on a quarterly earnings call. Achieving a superior customer experience is part of this endeavour, for instance with: a seamless checkout process; buy now, pay later options; and real-time delivery tracking.
Entrepreneurs and smaller merchants require “modern financial solutions” as they struggle to garner the support of traditional banks. That could involve providing access to capital, no-fee business accounts, and/or the ability for retailers to provide flexible payment options to customers.
The “power of omnichannel” is growing, argued Finkelstein, whether that involves people discovering and buying goods on Instagram, the photo-sharing service, or purchasing items through e-commerce channels and picking them up curb-side or in a physical store.