After a promising start to the summer where it looked like COVID cases were tapering off, the resurgence of cases across the United States sent many consumers back home and retailers scrambling to prepare for another (unprecedented) holiday shopping season.

Early estimates anticipate a better holiday season in 2021 than what businesses saw the year prior. This is in part due to consumers’ eagerness to get back to a sense of normalcy. However, retailers still face serious challenges when it comes to health and safety concerns, consumer shopping habits, and supply chain disruptions.

With more than a year of rapid changes behind them, many retailers continue to look for more ways to provide peace of mind for their customers, both with touchless in-person solutions and secure online buying options.

Online and touchless tech dominate the holiday shopping scene

Online shopping will continue to be a major trend during the 2021 season, especially with the move by several major retailers to remain closed for Thanksgiving. These closures will drive more Black Friday shopping online, not dissimilar to what occurred in 2020.

That online shopping trend is likely to continue throughout the holiday shopping season, even with some consumers concerned about shipping delays, as global supply chain disruptions continue to cause difficulties for delivery carriers.

One way retailers are meeting this challenge is with heavy implementation of in-store and curbside pickup options. Retailers can implement the use of kiosks to facilitate in-store pickups while still mitigating the health risks associated with face-to-face transactions.

These pickup options appeal to consumers because they offer the convenience of online shopping without the hassle of shipping or worrying if an order will be delivered on time.

Some consumers will continue to do their shopping in person. For these consumers, contactless checkout, self-checkout, digital signage and customer service kiosks will be key. Successful solutions will engage shoppers while allowing them to remain physically distanced.

Effective solutions means a happy holiday season for your customers

Many retailers hastily added and implemented digital technology last year to adjust to the changing world created by the pandemic, but those solutions were not always well thought out or implemented effectively.

In a world of digital noise, consumers are being targeted by businesses in all aspects of their digital lives, and the cost of reaching and acquiring those customers continues to rise. The key to success in this space is creating a stellar omnichannel user experience.

The omnichannel user experience means that your customers have a seamless journey across all the channels you use to communicate with them. If your technology is clunky and creates problems for your customers, they’re going to look elsewhere for an easier shopping experience.

Get started on perfecting your customer journey today

Now is the time to create lasting technology improvement in your business that will support you and your customers long term. Staley Technologies can help you implement technology that will create the best possible experience for your customers. For more information, contact Staley Technologies at (800) 280-9675 to speak with an expert.

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