Brands that got technology right during the pandemic won over consumers because they could deliver a positive digital interactions to their customers. Brands such as Target (+20% stores and digital channels), Home Depot (+25%) and Walmart (+79% e-commerce sales) experienced significant year-over-year gains throughout the pandemic. But as these temporary trends shift into permanent changes, retailers must sort out which changes are here to stay and adapt accordingly.
“A retailer or brand’s customer experience has always been expressed in a combination of physical manifestation of the store, human service design elements and technology decisions,” said Chris Walton, co-founder of Red Archer Retail and former Target executive. “When done well, these three things act in concert like a seamless piece of fabric. But COVID put uneven pressure on some aspects of that expression over others, causing retailers to lean heavily on the technology aspect so customers could shop safely.”
All three of these elements will stand the test of time, Walton explained, but retailers and brands need to experiment and adjust with each to see what’s going to support their customers and business models the best.