With the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, the retail industry has transformed to adapt to the new reality. With the development of the mobile Internet, shopping online is convenient. It seems that everything is going forward in the same direction.
During the pandemic, it is safer with less touching. Therefore, the usual picking process in the store has been replaced by the choosing process online. The delivery men deliver the goods wearing gloves picking the items. In Amazon, machines automatically pick the goods for customers, thanks to the high-tech.
The pandemic now has become ordinary to people around the world. According to the scientists, it will continue like this for more years. This fact will and has changed people's lifestyles and many industries dramatically. Some industries have gone forever.
The retail industry has adapted to the reality that fewer people would go out shopping, and more people would shop online.
With the development of digital tech, the retail industry has been evolving. The covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digital process. The retail business started to do digital marketing as mobile marketing.
The development of AI (artificial intelligence) enables retail merchants to predict and influence customers' behaviors in the most subtle ways.
They also optimize the consuming process by designing a whole chain from digital marketing, automated shopping, paying, and delivery to after-sales service. If a retail business has not made such a digital transformation, it is hard to survive under the reality of quarantine time.
With an automated digital process, retail businesses can save a lot of human costs, including salespeople, store guides, and cashiers. The competition will be digital and online. Owning a better AI algorithm will be the winner.
In the future, some bold predictions are that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will do the delivery job, letting go of the current delivery men. The retail industry will truly be digital and touchless.
Recently, formal Facebook has announced its new parent company, Meta. It is an ambitious outlook towards the future: the metaverse. In the real world, the business model of Facebook is to sell ads based on big data, which invades users' privacy at high possibility. Facebook is often blamed for its user privacy invasion.
Facebook can get users' data as far as the law permits. However, in the metaverse, if it doesn't change its business model, which is selling ads based on users' data, the users' privacy invasion will only be worse. This unpleasant possibility is warned by professionals in different industries.
In the metaverse, different merchants can sell things there. As a player existing in the metaverse, the goods you ordered will be delivered to you in the real world. The digital marketing of the retail industry in the metaverse will only develop deeper. That is a possible future of the retail business. And the retail merchants shall look into this possible future carefully.