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The rise of dark shops and live shopping during COVID

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The retail sector underwent a seismic shift during COVID-19 as many nations instructed non-essential stores to close their doors to save lives.

The way we live, work and shop has been permanently altered by the pandemic. Many of the biggest high street brands have been abandoned, as Topshop, Debenhams, and Dorothy Perkins have fallen victim to a lack of innovation.

A new report by Go to the shopfourth on our RetailTech 50 ranking – and who worked with the likes of Marks and Spencer in 2021 – highlights trends experienced by the industry.

The scaleup, founded in 2014 and acquired by Emplifi last yearShe said “The state of commerce in real time” report. is a “sixth reminder to the world’s biggest brands that we have entered a new era of retail, where investing in your online customer experience is critical.”

Throughout 2020, use of its platform grew rapidly as brands began to recognize the value of live video shopping in the face of store closings.

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The delta variant

As we emerged from 2020 to 2021, any hope for the new year that marks a COVID withdrawal began to fade. New variations have caused infection rates to soar during the holiday period, only to peak in January. The world has adapted and the blockades have come into effect around the world.

As expected, the retail sector experienced one of the biggest hits. Throughout the first quarter of 2021, retailers on nearly every continent were forced to close their doors.

“The reliance on new forms of commerce has been reflected in the trends,” he said Go to the shop. “During the first quarter we had our largest number of unique callers … dark shops have become a necessity and have become popular.

The concept of the dark shop is to reuse a retail store into a fulfillment center that is not open to the public, allowing staff members to operate without external contact.

Go Instore said that dark stores contributed to a 36% increase in average order value and 8x more spend than a standard website during the period.

An era of new hope

April 2021 showed timid returns to normal, with the second week marked by the reopening of shops, hairdressers and gyms.

Shoppers are back on the main streets, with the highly anticipated reopening of UK stores on April 12 up by a whopping 151%.

Despite this, call numbers remained high for Go Instore, which, according to claims, shows that even with the physical option, some buyers still preferred a live video call.

In fact, in the week when stores reopened, Go Instore calls were 0.08% more than the previous week.

“75% of consumers have experienced a new shopping behavior and most intend to continue it beyond the pandemic,” said the company, which also reported that the use of smartphones for online shopping has more than doubled since 2018.

Omicron arrives

Entering the traditional shopping peak period, there was hope for a more normal Christmas following the lifting of the blockade and the decline in COVID infections.

However, that promise quickly broke when the Omicron burst onto the scene in late November. In the week leading up to Christmas, the UK accumulated over 60,000 cases of Omicron. By Christmas Eve it had nearly doubled to 114,000 cases.

The highly transmissible variant triggered the return of the mask mandate, vaccination passports and the desire to work from home. Staff shortages were widespread and supply chain problems threatened the ingredients of the Christmas dinner.

Retail sales during the peak season tend to break records year after year, but with global uncertainty looming, 2021 was predicted to collapse. But no one was expecting a drop in retail sales of 3.7% – this was also the first year in history that Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday sales fell from the previous year.

“Despite this somewhat sad news, it has strengthened the successes of our customers, which have emerged with promising results: during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday we have enabled our customers to serve their customers around the world with a rate of average conversion of 29%, “said GoInstore.

“We have activated video calling in over 20 countries around the world with an average order increase of 74%.”

The rise of dark shops and live shopping during COVID

Source link The rise of dark shops and live shopping during COVID

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