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As the name suggests, digical is the merging of two forms of consumer interaction - the physical retail environment and the digital touchpoints that have rapidly evolved to meet customer needs. So how is it done and what are the benefits?
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the US economy and retail sector, the legal cannabis industry has needed to rapidly adapt to ensure customers are able to continue purchasing their products. Unlike many companies, however, the cannabis industry has been able to maintain their sales during this period, and in states with legalised cannabis, have in fact increased as much as 50% according to Business Insider.
The response to COVID-19 forced booming shops to stop trading in a matter of days. Non-essential workers were sent home and the general public locked themselves away. With the return of customers, and tentative steps to reopening, retailers of all sizes and formats, have begun to see this transitional period as an opportunity to re-orientate their retail operations.
As human beings we enjoy social experiences. Shopping in-store gives us this level of social interaction that e-commerce simply can’t deliver. While online stores continue to multiply, there is no question that brick and mortar stores continue to play an important role in the shopping experience for most businesses
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation of many retailers’ operations. While these changes are providing important safety measures, they’re also delivering a far better shopping experience, and are likely to play a key role in the buying experience post-pandemic too.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the retail industry with the forced closure of physical stores and the halting of consumer spending due to economic uncertainty. These have left retailers needing to adapt quickly by improving their e-commerce capabilities to ensure they can continue to serve their customers. Alongside the short term behaviours adopted by consumers during the pandemic, research suggests that the future landscape of North America’s retail industry will be shaped by the new economic reality and the consolidation of retailers which will alter the competitive landscape. So, what does this mean for the future of retail?