The past year has introduced many significant changes to daily life and retail business trends around the globe, many of which will likely remain and accelerate the pace of technological transformations. One of the industries most impacted by these changes has been retail. 

Between handling big swings in customer demand, preparing for increased use of digital channels and online shopping, and accounting for customer concerns about security and privacy, businesses that want to thrive in the upcoming months and years have their work cut out for them.

In order to help your business plan for the road ahead, the team at Burroughs wanted to capture some of the key retail business trends we’ve seen so far in 2021.

Rapid Storefront Evolution

Even before the global pandemic upended many parts of our lives, the ways in which customers interacted with brick-and-mortar sites and engaged with brands offline were already changing. Stores were once the primary place to purchase goods, but now customers use them to learn about products and try out samples. Many customers also choose to and handle their purchases through self-service in addition to contactless check-out, or even wait to order online after they leave the store. In response, stores have been rethinking their layouts to streamline costs and deliver new experiences and options to customers. 

Stores are not only transforming their physical locations into digitally enhanced spaces for the benefit of the customers, but also to help protect against the rise in retail theft. Enhancements such as smart safes, cash recyclers, and remote monitoring can help businesses make a big leap toward increasing their cash security.

Innovations in Payment and Transaction Ecosystems

Innovation is the main theme of retail business trends in 2021. Building on the financial and operational need to streamline operations, implement innovative features, and increase return on investment, businesses are also investing more in solutions for their payment and transaction technology ecosystems, such as remote managed services.

Businesses that invest in these solutions realize multiple benefits, including access to service and integration experts who can deploy new technology, proactive services that can reduce system downtime and handle patch management, and the ability to extend the lives of their devices. Taking ongoing maintenance out of your staff’s hands gives you more time to focus on improving the customer experience and increasing security for your entire cash management process.

Continued Focus on Touchless Tech

After more than a year of reshaping their buying patterns, customers are now used to the many benefits of self-service and contact-free payments. In fact, according to one survey, more than half of Americans are now comfortable using contactless payment methods.

Businesses can also choose to take these advancements in self-service and contactless payment one step further.  By personalizing the experience, using payments as opportunities to upsell, and capturing additional spending habit data, businesses can add a new dimension to their operations. 

These new cash transaction and payment methods—including biometric technology, mobile payments, and kiosks—also help businesses find new ways to meet the ever-present operational demands of security, speed, and auditable data, and give customers the choice to handle transactions from a distance.

Embrace the Future with Burroughs

This past year was no doubt one of the most challenging for retail. However, 2021 is already looking up in many ways, and there is a clear path to recovery for both public health and the economy, especially for businesses that know how to embrace new digital trends.

In other words, retail businesses that continue to innovate and provide consumers with new experiences will be laying the foundation for both current streamlined operations and future digital transformations.

If your business is interested in learning more about how you can ride these trends to a more secure, profitable, and engaging 2021, the experts at Burroughs would love to talk with you