After all, there’s no secret handbook that has prepared us for a behemoth crisis such as this. The way we seet it, brands and retailers that adapt, move fast and implement strategic short and long term changes will be in a much healthier place.
It's official: "business-as-usual" is not coming back anytime soon. As widespread as it is, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has carved the way for a new "normal" and has put countless moving parts into perspective for literally every consumer-facing industry. Especially for the physical retail sector.
Old habits forced to die hard
It’s no secret that digital aka ecommerce has been on the rise for the past decade but it has never surpassed in-store retail sales. In fact, in 2019 ecommerce sales accounted for only 16% of total retail sales, which is to say consumers ultimately ended up spending more dollars in-store.
Up until now.
According to the comprehensive retail data collected by Attentive, pre-covid and post-covid buying preferences look starkly different. As pointed out, in a pre-covid world in-store retail dominated in almost every shopping category:
Not to any surprise, since Covid-19 ecommerce has overshadowed in-store sales by leaps and bounds. Here’s the overall retail sales data from March, 2020:
It’s fair to say that the covid-19 pandemic is a defining moment of 2020 and it will have lasting implications on consumer behaviour. In fact, KPMG insights sheds light on something more interesting: two sequential waves of ecommerce growth that the retail industry can be sure to expect.
As the data proves currently we’re in wave 1, where in-store shoppers are flocking online.
The second wave of ecommerce growth will come as consumer confidence begins to recover. By this stage consumers will have become accustomed to buying all their purchases online during physical distancing restrictions. When they are ready to spend again, it will start online – and more transactions are likely to stay online. Activity will return to shopping malls but digital will likely play a much larger role. Retailers with truly omni-channel experiences will be best positioned to benefit during the early recovery period.
– added KPMG analysts.
And we agree. Companies that can make the most of innovative technologies—
- by matching changing consumer expectations online,
- enabling seamless interactions through omni-channel offerings, and
- enhancing consumer experience with augmented and virtual realities
will have the opportunity to earn consumer loyalty and sales even after consumers’ hesitance is reduced. In simple terms, complete digital transformation is the only logical and strategic way forward.
Designhubz pushing the digital transformation wheels
As a brand or retailer, the priority right now should not only be to have a full-fledged ecommerce channel, but to provide a standout immersive digital storefront that is as good or even better than your physical store.
That’s where we step right in.
With product visualizations powered by 3D and Augmented reality, you can expect to deliver an in-store shopping experience online. Be it on your website, app, social media or any other digital sales channel of your choice.
Determined to help retail brands navigate these challenging times, we are giving away a completely free, no strings attached 30-day trial of the entire Designhubz XR suite.
What does digital transformation look like with Designhubz?
Given the fact that brands and retailers need to be quick with delivering standout online experiences, 3D and AR both stand to be powerful assets in these difficult times. Here at Designhubz, our immersive 3D and augmented reality technologies were built to shape the future of online shopping. Little did we know that we could help our customers take their sales game to the next level, especially at a time when they need it the most.
Turn your physical inventory into 3D visualizations
Activate fast with seamless digitization
Equipped with fully automated robotic rigs, our digitization process converts your physical products into 3D and AR views in a matter of minutes.
AR ready product views to embed across your website, app, social media and more
Not only for products in the fashion beauty and apparel categories where they can try products on themselves, but for more cost-heavy products like furniture, toys, watches and home appliances which they can place in their immediate surrounding.
Overall, AR enabled shopping has proven to boost consumer confidence by removing purchase objections and in turn increasing conversions.
The covid-19 crisis sheds light on why it’s important for brands and retailers to diversify their sales channels which is to say, digital channels and technologies need to be leveraged now more than ever. Even if changing consumer habits, rise of ecommerce giants and a want for on-demand experience had not influenced all brands to consider complete digital transformation so far, the covid-19 pandemic could be the most significant accelerator of them all!
That said, if there’s anything else we can help you with, just reach out to us. We’ll support you in every way we can!