How the Pandemic Has Impacted Retail: 5 Key Changes

Angela Barlow

02.05.2021

Many industries have been disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. One of those industries is no doubt the retail sector, which has seen dramatic changes during 2020. In many countries, the pandemic resulted in the shutting down of “non-essential” retail stores during lockdowns. The only stores allowed to open were those deemed “essential” for survival (i.e., grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.). Around the world, all retail companies have had to adapt to the circumstances and find ways to still accommodate their customers while ensuring their safety. Many retail shops turned their focus to e-commerce.

As a result of the pandemic, this industry’s landscape has been altered for the foreseeable future and most likely forever. 

Here are five key ways in which the pandemic has impacted retail: 

Online Ordering For Home Delivery

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As mentioned, ecommerce sales soared in 2020. This will likely continue as more consumers have embraced the ease and convenience of this shopping method.  The U.S. alone saw a jump of $600 billion in ecommerce sales in 2019 to nearly $800 billion in 2020. Europe saw its own growth in ecommerce with nearly a 13% increase in sales from 2019 to 2020.

It’s safe to say that ecommerce is here to stay. Because of this, it’s important that companies have efficient warehouse processes in place to ensure they can meet demand. One way to improve productivity in a warehouse is by investing in new technologies—such as tablets, scanners, and printers. To ensure that they can use their devices to their full potential, they trust ENS solutions. Whether it’s the new WL-1000 Warehouse Modular Mount or our Mobile Terminal Carts, we have the solutions that will help you take full advantage of your warehouse technology. 

Click and Collect + Pick-Up at Store

Waiting around for delivery can sometimes be difficult —especially if it’s an item you need sooner rather than later. For this reason, click and collect shopping methods have become prevalent as well. Click and Collect, also known as Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS) involves the shopper making a purchase online and then going to the store to collect it. For curbside delivery, mPOS (mobile point of sale) solutions are often used, which makes the process much more efficient and easier. 

Many companies have also started using product storage lockers where consumers are given the lock code and can retrieve their products without ever coming into contact with a store employee. 

ENS offers unique solutions for each of these Click + Collect opportunities, visit www.ens-co.com to learn more. 

Increased Use of Self-Checkout Kiosks

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Many shoppers still wanted to go to a store to grab groceries and other items, even during the pandemic. To eliminate the need for contact with employees, many retailers turned to self-checkout kiosks. Using these kiosks to check out, shoppers could limit their interactions with employees and check out and pay safely and securely. 

If you’re a retail or grocery store that doesn’t have self-checkout kiosks integrated into your store, now may be the time to consider this option. Reach out to ENS to get started on creating the perfect kiosk set up for your store and customers. 

Increased Shopping at Smaller Shops

Many smaller, locally-owned businesses saw a boost in sales as consumers traveled less to get their groceries or other essential goods. For consumers in smaller towns and cities, instead of driving 30 minutes to an hour for a larger grocery chain, they became content with shopping local and supporting their community. 

Will these smaller, locally-owned businesses continue to see solid sales numbers as the pandemic subsides via vaccinations? It’s possible that some consumers will continue to shop at stores closer to them, while others head back to the big chains. 

Implementation of Social Distancing Infrastructure

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Retail and grocery stores around the world have had to adapt to the pandemic by ensuring that people can maintain social distancing, as well as avoid close contact with employees. This is especially true for consumers that are checking out. To avoid a long, closely-knit queue, visual spacers have been included on floors to make sure people are spread out. 

As mentioned, self-checkouts are being used more often to avoid contact with employees. But, consumers who don’t want to use self-checkouts need to be safe too. This is where glass screens come into play, as many grocery stores have utilized them to ensure there is limited to no direct contact with customers. 

Trust ENS to Keep Your Customers Safe

The need for keeping customers safe while in your retail store is not going away after the pandemic. It’s important to continue to keep your checkout and payment systems clean, as well as offer solutions that make customers feel comfortable in your shop.  

Whether it’s ENS’ UV-Clean solutions or any of our other Safe and Protective products, we’ll help keep your retail store functional, efficient, safe, and clean. 

Contact ENS today to get started. 

About ENS:

ENS Group has over 10 million products in use worldwide. And can be found in over 40 countries across the globe. We are the trusted solution in 85 of the top 100 US retailers, as well as leaders in the hospitality and financial industries. ENS also partners with some of the world’s largest technology companies to provide unique solutions for their devices.  We are proud to partner with Zebra, Toshiba, HP, Verifone, ingenico, Pax, Samsung, NCR, elo, Magtek and many others.

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