Retailers recognize that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on their business and it’s time to think through the longer-term implications.
The Future of Retail
Think of Covid as the chip company that already does the graphics processing inside your smartphone and which is considering going beyond the mobile device to become an artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The bigger question is not whether this will happen, but how will it happen? If you’ve worked in the field of voice and vision processing, then the past several years have felt very familiar. In 2013, Apple (AAPL) purchased Siri and the next year opened its Siri in the Cloud (SIC) center. In 2015, Google (GOOGL) acquired DeepMind and in 2017, Facebook (FB) acquired WhatsApp and Oculus. In 2018, Microsoft (MSFT) acquired Maluuba.
How COVID-19 is Impacting Retail
Malls are losing top tenants Developers are changing their overall business model Retailers are preparing for what’s to come For retailers who want to know what’s coming for COVID-19, or for retailers who don’t know, here’s a quick snapshot.
Following Sears, Sears filed for bankruptcy protection in October. Some of its stores were recently converted to LifeTime Outlets. Larger footprints are replaced with smaller stores and shorter aisles, meaning shorter time to checkout and a reduction in staffing.
Even J.C. Penney made the switch to shorter aisles and a focus on the “everyday low prices” mentality.
What Does the Retailer’s Future Look Like?
Retailers have experienced rapid growth and disruption since the 2000s, as consumers’ preferences changed and digital content transformed the shopping experience. Now, we’re at a tipping point where the retail industry is poised for another massive disruption with the introduction of 5G, AI, big data, and robotics, which will allow retailers to transform the customer experience and offer new, personalized, hyper-relevant products.
The Innovation Now Advisory Council released the insights of its Retail Innovation:
Shaping Tomorrow’s Business, calling for the creation of a National Innovation Council in the US to support the retail industry’s digital transformation and explore new solutions and business models to create a seamless consumer experience.
Due to the unintended effects of this pandemic, many industries are unable to return to the days before COVID. However, as with other declines, there have been more notable increases – including for retail. New trends and innovations have made an impact and will continue to grow as we enter a brighter era after the pandemic.