Our retail habits have changed immensely during 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic, consumers were forced to shop online more than they ever had before. At the same time, a new consumer understanding has arisen which could fuel new changes within the retail industry.

Consumer retail habits are steering shopping in a new direction

Shopping local – Advertising campaigns and focus on shopping local has never been so well promoted. The ‘Use it or Lose it’ campaign has encouraged consumers to think a little more about their retail habits. Where they are shopping and if possible, buy local instead of just using the well-known online retailers. Consumers are becoming aware that they do have a choice and to use it as when and where they can. If everyone were to eliminate the choice, then there would only be one or two choices left which actually determines as no choice! That would mean no individual brands and no sense of individual style. It is critical that consumers recognise the importance of their decision when choosing where to shop.

Becoming tech savvy - In respect to customer needs, over the last 12 months retailers have become far more tech savvy.  Using a variety of methods to encourage shoppers to their stores. Communicating through social media, offering click and collect services and efficiently responding to customers’ needs as they ask questions. All these methods give a personal service which customers desire. Together with tailored advertising, retailers can really drill down into specific consumer needs and entice change in retail habits.

Making room for new entrepreneurs – 2020 has certainly seen a sad ‘end of an era’ for the likes of 207-year-old Debenhams. Historically, UK consumers embraced the retail institution but in later years, Debenhams struggled to keep up with competitive online retail lower cost prices and higher priced store rents. However, as they say, as one door closes, another opens and with its final closure near, there is room now for developing retailers and new, emerging start-up businesses to come forward, to create a new era in retail.  New and exciting brands now has the opportunity to develop their own acquisition.

Are you operating as an independent retailer and using online retail as a method to grow your brand? Do you sell through your own independent website, Amazon, eBay, Shopify or Etsy? Here at Crendon Insurance we help online retailers in protecting stock, protecting dropshipping and fulfilment services by means of online retail insurance. To find out more about protecting your retail business, please contact our online retail insurance team or see our website for further details.

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