Pandemic accelerated technological revolution in retail: survey

Barclays has surveyed more than 300 senior retail executives across the UK

retail

Pandemic accelerated technological revolution in retail: survey. Source: shutterstock.com

26% of UK retailers think the pandemic has accelerated a technological revolution in retail, according to the survey.

In fact, 33% of retailers have had website upgrades, while 32% have started to accept new payment methods. At the same time, 26% have embraced data analytics for the first time.

To help decrease queues in-store, nearly a quarter of retailers have started offering ‘click and collect’ options.

The report also reveals that 28% plan to do more to support local communities, while a fifth believe the future of retail is in local high streets rather than city centers.

Against that backdrop, however, e-commerce and digital sales have demonstrated significant improvement and have helped to maintain year-on-year growth for many businesses. Despite the unprecedented uncertainty and disruption, the results of our survey are encouraging, and it is great to see retail leaders confident about their prospects. Many are using the ‘new normal’ to innovate and adapt their business models
Karen Johnson, Head of Retail and Wholesale for Barclays Corporate Banking

The research has also found a shift towards more localized business operations. For instance, 15% of retail businesses aim to lower the number of physical stores they have in urban areas close to office buildings within 2021.

We’ve reported that Sainsbury’s is trialing a virtual queuing system to eliminate the need to physically wait in line at the store. The trial, which will run via the app first, will be live at Sainsbury’s Uxbridge, Pimlico, Dome Roundabout in Watford, Leicester North, and Newham Royal Wharf stores.

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