NEW DATA: Five Ways Social Distancing Is Transforming Retail

  • “COVID-19 has driven consumers indoors — and online. Consumers are 30.6 percent more likely to make their purchases online in 2020 than they were in 2019
  • consumers who report using their mobile devices to enhance their in-store experiences having increased from 49.6 percent to 72.1 percent during the last year.

To learn more about how the new year, and all-new circumstances, have transformed consumer spending habits, download the report”

AI’s role in retail

  • “Domino’s uses artificial intelligence to determine its pizza delivery times and, in Australia and New Zealand, to monitor quality. Sephora’s ColorIQ scans shoppers’ skin to provide custom recommendations for foundation and concealer. Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab is experimenting with a number of artificial intelligence tools.
  • ‘retailers — except for the top ones — are struggling to find talent for an internal team to bring that kind of data science on board. There is a great push to find solution providers with AI embedded. It basically democratizes the capabilities that AI brings to the table.’
  • ‘Yes, in the long run, Amazon would love to think that everyone is using Alexa to shop but that’s not the real endgame. All the other uses — the queries, the questions, checking the score in the game, the weather — all of that data can begin to inform Amazon’s strategy and choices. It’s not simply about order data but being privy to some of the most intimate queries that customers are making.’”

‘With AI, ML, fashion shifts from ecommerce to ‘a-commerce”: Abdullah Abo Milhim

  • “Previously, technology was one of the aspects that could change the business model; now, technology drives the entire business model.
  • Since 2018, we have seen a shift from e-commerce to a-commerce—automated or augmented commerce—which means consumers can use technologies to tell the business about the kind of product they want.”

Abdullah Abo Milhim

As Western Massachusetts banks merge and add technology, customers still demand face-to-face service

  • “’People still need to see you,’ said John F. Heaps Jr., president and CEO of Florence Bank, who will retire in May after 25 years of leading his bank. ‘I’ve used to term ‘bricks equal clicks.’
  • Maybe soon you can get advice not from a machine, but through a machine. Holyoke-based PeoplesBank is one of the banks installing higher-tech teller machines that connect users via video with staffers working in a remote location.”

As retail evolves, 5G and edge computing keep you in the express lane

    “According to research published by McKinsey ahead of the 2019 holiday season, 62% of shoppers planned to make their purchases online and in-store.
    Flashy new online and AR/VR shopping schemes may grab headlines. But by 2023, ecommerce is expected to account for just 21% of total retail sales, and a mere 5% of grocery sales. Although we’re all eagerly anticipating same-day drone-based delivery services, it’s clear that the experience of purchasing our favorite goods in-person isn’t going away.”

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