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How Retail Will Evolve in 2021

E-commerce platform Shopify recently unveiled its Future of Commerce 2021 report, highlighting bold predictions for where retail will go throughout 2021. The report combines insights from the company’s 1 million retailers across 11 countries. Discover some of the key takeaways from the report to guide your business through the year.

01 The future of shopping is in young hands.
According to Shopify, young shoppers are responsible for key trends shaping the industry, including 67 percent of young shoppers shifting more of their spending online since the COVID-19 pandemic began, compared to 54 percent of shoppers on average. Notably, younger customers are more likely to discover and shop via social media.

02 Contactless payments will gain traction.
According to Shopify’s data, 62 percent of customers are more comfortable finalizing in-store purchases with digital or contactless payments. Globally, the number of Shopify retailers using contactless payments grew 122 percent from the start of 2020. In the U.S., that figure stood at 155 percent.

03 Customers will personalize.
More than half of shoppers who made purchases online in 2020 used standard shipping to receive those items, but many are also exploring alternative ways to acquire their purchases. More than 20 percent used curbside pickup, and 30 percent of consumers used curbside pickup or BOPIS for the first time in 2020. Nearly two-thirds say they are doing it more often during the pandemic.

04 Independent retailers retain an advantage.
Exactly half of Shopify consumers consider supporting independent businesses to be important. One-third choose independents to support local entrepreneurship, and another 33 percent shop independents to find unique products.

About Todd Taber

Todd Taber
Todd is trends editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017.

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