Retail Trends

Top retail stats for 2021

Dec 14, 2021

As we look back on another year in retail, here are five stats that highlight some of 2021’s biggest retail trends.

Shopping experiences actually improved during Covid-19

The past 12 months have continued to be dominated by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, according to research by analytics leader SAS, 87.9% of shoppers feel that the shopping experience has actually improved during the pandemic.

This appears to be tied to the greater uptake of online shopping and the benefits it offers in terms of personalisation, speed and ease of use. As we move into 2022, e-commerce is going to continue to play an important role in customer experience.

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87.9% of shoppers feel that the shopping experience has actually improved during the pandemic.

Omnichannel retail experiences are used by 89% of shoppers

In a survey by payments firm Klarna, 89% of its shoppers stated that they use multiple channels to search for and buy products. Yet, 50% do not think retailers join up their online and in-store operations effectively, while retailers overestimate how good their omnichannel actually is.

It’s a clear sign that shopping across channels is the new normal and retailers must prioritise omnichannel or fall behind.

Shopping through social platforms is on the rise

Social media platforms have become an integral part of e-commerce. A survey by media agency Essence found that 41% of respondents worldwide have either made purchases or intend to make purchases involving social platforms.

The breakout trend of shoppable livestreaming is playing a key role in this with 85% saying they are more likely to purchase through social media after watching shopping live streams.

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85% saying they are more likely to purchase through social media after watching shopping live streams.

56% of consumers say AR is more important to them

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the uptake of virtual shopping experiences. A survey by Deloitte Digital and Snap found that 56% of consumers say the pandemic has made AR experiences more important to them. Nearly three-quarters expect to increase their use of AR over the next five years.

It’s good news for retailers too as the survey claims that shoppers are 41% more likely to consider brands with AR experience, as well as 94% higher conversion rates for brands that offer AR experiences.

BNPL increases conversion rates by 20-30%

High-tech Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) schemes are the world’s fastest growing e-com payment option, according to FIS Worldpay. Consumers are increasingly opting to BNPL in order to try before they buy and manage their budgets.

As such, more and more retailers are offering BNPL as a payment option and this is set to continue. The good news for retailers is that RBC Capital Markets estimates that BNPL increase conversion rates by 20-30% and average order size by 30-50%.

It will be interesting to see how regulation shapes the BNPL market going forward, as well as the potential impact on retailers in terms of returned products.