Retransmitted by Jobbinghood’s editor
2020 was an incredibly challenging year for everybody – few people who could claim that it wasn’t. For those involved in retail, both in-store and online, it was a whole other. The effects of the global pandemic meant that countries internationally endured national shutdowns and workforce shortages due to the need for self-isolation.
The US followed suit, and retail businesses found it more challenging than ever, with further shifts towards online retail. In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, national events encouraged civil unrest that had huge impacts on many small and local businesses. Retailers who solely traded offline or who took most of their sales in-store have suffered unprecedented losses due to mandatory store closures in 2020. This resulted in vast numbers of businesses closing stores, making redundancies, or ceasing trading altogether.
While there have been widely reported (and expected) increases in eCommerce sales, it hasn’t been easy for eCommerce retailers either. While the eCommerce industry as a whole has benefitted from increased sales as the public turned to eCommerce to avoid the risk of shopping in-store, there were, and continue to be, significant challenges to be addressed in the face of customer demand. COVID-19 restrictions have meant working practices needed to be heavily modified, there have been additional expenses for PPE, yet customers were still expecting the same speed of delivery. Product sourcing has been an issue, particularly where retailers import (especially from the Far East) with significantly slower shipping times. Even shipping businesses and couriers didn’t escape the challenges that coronavirus presented, with the need for hands-free deliveries and other increases in precautions for their employees.
With all this to consider, there has been much debate regarding the future of retail and whether bricks and mortar retail can continue to survive. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most significant statistics from both the offline retail sector and eCommerce before moving to look at trends for the year ahead and how retailers can continue to grow both on- and offline as the pandemic progresses.
To read the complete and detailed study “Retail Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts For 2021” by Elliott Poulter, Marketing Executive at Olvin, please go to Olvin’s blog