Retail 2021: Google and Microsoft already reveal their latest innovations

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Retail 2021: Google and Microsoft already reveal their latest innovations

Retail 2021: Google and Microsoft already reveal their latest innovations

2020 was an extraordinary year that did not spare the retail sector. In 2021, some players are already announcing major changes. Indeed, Google’s SEO algorithms will go through many transformations. The integration of Google Page Experience and Core Web Vitals (Performance Indicators) is likely to disrupt the positioning of many websites. 

Another revolution in the world of retail, Bottega Veneta is closing its social networks. The company belonging to the Kering group is making a surprising turnaround as the share of e-commerce in the luxury market doubled in 2020. This raises questions about the ability of social networks to attract and maintain the presence of luxury brands on their platforms. 

2021 promises to be a year rich in transformation for retailers, who must constantly reinvent themselves.

Our consultants have therefore identified the key trends that will influence 2021 in the retail world:  

1) Improving customer experience

At a time when the customer experience is the key to success for retailers, customer knowledge is a fundamental challenge. Experts in digital and customer path analysis, Microsoft and Contentsquare are launching a strategic partnership to optimise retailers’ customer experience

Microsoft will support Contentsquare in the development of its Artificial Intelligence and predictive analytics strategy and will benefit from the insights and recommendations of Contentsquare’s platform to optimise its online sales channels (Microsoft on-line Store), and in particular to increase its conversion rate. Moreover, B.D.C. is the first consulting company certified “Experience Partner” of Contentsquare in “Hauts de France”. 

Furthermore, with the multiplication of offers, brands must create additional value not only around the product but above all around the customer through an ultra-personalised experience. It is in this context that Data becomes a structuring point because it allows retailers to better know their customers, anticipate their behaviour and adapt quickly.

Adidas has managed to increase its profits by 45% in 2018 thanks to a new strategy focused on hyper-customisation. The brand has allied itself with the Salesforce CRM tool combined with artificial intelligence to personalise the customer experience to the maximum.

2) The power of delivery

In 2020, delivery systems were put to the test. The growth rate of e-commerce on 1 September 2020 was 24% (Fevad, 2020). Logistics, which for certain brands had difficulty keeping up with the pace and had to be totally rethought: New delivery systems, multiplication of Click and Collect points or even collaboration for the last kilometre. Delivery has become a decisive criterion to make a purchase. 

Consumers are becoming very demanding when it comes to delivery, accustomed to faster and cheaper delivery.

“82% of online shoppers have already cancelled an online purchase due to delivery conditions that were not satisfactory” (OpinionWay, 2019)

Amazon is the leader of fast delivery. The Pure Player offers free delivery within 24 hours, a major strength. More recently, the American giant has acquired a fleet of aircraft to meet the new requirements in terms of delivery and to have a monopoly on logistics.

Click and Collect has evolved radically in 2020: many retailers have managed to continue selling and keep in touch with their customers thanks to the implementation of this system. This method of delivery is highly attractive to retailers and their customers. 

“48% of buyers surveyed use Click & Collect to avoid shipping costs” (Hitachi Solutions, 2020)

It enables companies to collect valuable customer data. John Lewis has exponentially increased the number of Click and Collect points, enabling it to boost its online sales in 2020, which now account for 70% of its total sales. 

3) Social networks: Retail’s new ally

Over the years, social networks have become increasingly popular. In constant evolution, social networks offer functionalities dedicated to the world of Retail (integrated purchasing, product catalogue, etc.). In 2020, following the Covid-19 crisis, they were essential for keeping the link with consumers

Showing the human side of brands is precisely the aim of conversational marketing. Interactions can be varied: a question about a product, a request for advice/expert advice or a request for a quote. Consumers are looking for answers and interactivity. 

In conclusion, 2021 promises to be rich in opportunities for retailers. The year is off to a great start: the NRF convention started on 12 January and our consultants will be looking back in detail at the innovations presented at the 2021 edition.

Also new at B.D.C: this year we are innovating by launching new services, stay tuned!

For more news: click here 

Elodie Garicoitz
Retail & Digital Consultant