Ecommerce exploded at the onset of the pandemic. Two and a half years later, people have returned to stores, but ecommerce adoption remains high. Retailers are once again asking: What is the future of stores? Here are four red-hot predictions:
Expect to see more services
- Retailers like Walgreens and CVS are adding more medical services into stores, according to our principal analyst Yory Wurmser, speaking on our “Behind the Numbers: Reimagining Retail” podcast. Offering in-store care promotes wellness, but it also brings potential shoppers into the retail space.
Just Walk Out technology will go mainstream, but it will take a while
- The technology that allows you to leave a store without having to go through a cashier is here. But “to do it at scale and to think about the human processes” will take longer, according to our Briefings director Jeremy Goldman.
- Our senior analyst Blake Droesch agreed on last week’s podcast, saying Amazon is “years ahead” of consumer expectations in terms of Just Walk Out tech.
Stores will install automated kiosks in unexpected locations
- This prediction is less likely, according to Wurmser, who says “outside of stores, you’re going to see all types of branded retail experiences pop up.”
- In places like rest areas and airports, these kiosks would leverage strong branding to push extra sales.
Last-mile delivery companies will open brick-and-mortar stores
- “They’ve spent a lot in branding and loyalty,” says Goldman, so why not leverage it?
- Goldman argues this prediction is likely far off, but if fulfillment centers already exist, last-mile delivery companies could leverage them for extra revenues.
- Will we ever see an Instacart store? Both Goldman and Wurmser think it's possible. “You’re sitting on all that data,” says Goldman. “Eventually, when you’re tapped out on growth, you will look to things like [stores] for incremental growth.”