Payments technology has accelerated even more due to the pandemic, requiring flexibility to manage innovations such as experiential shopping, subscriptions and delivery.
Customers don’t go to restaurants merely for food; they pay for presentation, atmosphere and experience. As the pandemic recedes, expect leaders in every industry to find ways to satisfy their customers with a high-quality experience.
Even before the pandemic, online shopping was already supplanting brick and mortar retail. As a result, those who couldn’t innovate began suffering big losses, and many went out of business. For those locations that remain, the focus has shifted from using in-person retail primarily for sales to utilizing it to build brand recognition and loyalty, while relying on online storefronts to make most of their sales. This will continue to accelerate in the year ahead.
Delivery also took off to new heights in the past year and there no signs of that trend slowing down. In particular, we’ll see a rise in subscription delivery models and curbside management tools, especially those that guarantee fast (under 30 minutes in urban centers) and cheap (under $1/delivery) delivery, such as goPuff, as a delivery convenience store model. Not only does this instill customer loyalty and provide a built-in base of users, it offers reliable revenue and increases efficiency – a win-win for businesses.
Amazon will feel some heat as a result of these trends.
E-commerce delivery has become the norm and there is no going back. Consumers will continue to increase their delivery frequency and breadth as they become more comfortable with delivery services. On the business side, there will be a consolidation of delivery players. For example, restaurant groups will join forces and offer delivery hubs from ghost kitchens in order to optimize the delivery experience and profit margins.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to begin using delivery as a channel. With the right technology, they can match their level of services to Amazon’s while also offering a more branded, personal and local approach.
Even post-vaccine, the pandemic’s influence on buying behavior will largely remain.
CEO and co-founder,
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