Location analytics leader, PiinPoint, has been supporting brands across North America to use data and analytics in their retail strategy since 2014. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail playbook has been turned on its head, requiring organizational adaptability from retailers as they experienced a rapid rate of change.
The new realities faced by retailers over the last year have gained significant traction and present long-lasting implications to businesses and how they will plan their market strategy in 2022 and beyond. Though the end of 2021 may reflect a surge of “normal” shopping behaviour from pent-up demand, the next year presents a big question mark. How will retailers combine the best of their digital and physical worlds to remain relevant?
“The demands on retailers to leverage new attitudes and analytics to make experimental strategies from 2020 a lasting success are pressing,” explains Jim Robeson, CEO at PiinPoint. “For retailers to adequately evolve and be successful, they’ll need to remain relevant to a new consumer that lives in diversified markets, has adopted digital tools, and cares a lot about convenience, personalized experiences, and social consciousness.”
Through a series of executive interviews across key retail verticals, Canadian retail executives weighed in on which long-lasting dynamics will need to be embraced in a post-COVID world. Five trends were identified and the implications for market planning are clear:
- Brand Beware. The Threat of Retail Cancel Culture
- Rural is the new Urban
- Retail Prescribed by the Consumer
- Real Estate Teams Do More than Secure the Dirt
- De-Risk Brick & Mortar Strategy through Experimentation
Retail brands are realizing the depth to which the consumer must feel represented – in customer service, product options, marketing, values and beliefs – and that an intimate understanding of the consumer must underpin all strategy decisions for the organization. These behaviours challenge age-old assumptions about what a good retail experience is, and subsequently, how to plan for real estate. As a result, Retail Analytics must adopt a location dimension, or lose the nuance of a local market.