Retail tech trends: Stores leads Twitter mentions in July 2020

3 August 2020 (Last Updated August 4th, 2020 18:31)

Retail tech trends: Stores leads Twitter mentions in July 2020

Retail Insight Network lists the top five terms tweeted in retail tech in July 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Stores – 904 mentions

Extra workload on store staff, modifications in rent payments, and store inventions such as curb side pickups, were some of the popularly discussed topics in July 2020. According to an article shared by Sarah Butler, a retail journalist, the Tesco staff in nearly 2,000 stores have been asked to clean shops after getting rid of their contract cleaners. Despite the increase in store budgets to accommodate the additional time for cleaning tasks, employees state that the extra workload is a psychological blow for an already overworked staff.

Retail Schmetail, a retail guide authored by the retail expert Sanford Stein, discussed how Nordstorm informed its landlords to expect only half their rent for the rest of the year up until January 2021. The departmental store announced that it was modifying its rent payments to sail through the pandemic. The chain also stated that it will be reducing its workforce to achieve cost cuts.

In other news, Jason Goldberg, a digital commerce and retail expert, shared an article on Walgreens announcing same-day curb side pickup for all its 8,600 stores in the US. Many retailers in the UK have been collaborating to re-invent their stores with technologies to drive footfalls and maximise sales.

2. E-commerce – 624 mentions

Different ways to drive traffic to e-commerce stores, and the growing popularity of dropshipping business, were widely discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Mike Schiemer, a digital marketer, social media marketing tools can be effective in maximising ecommerce sales. Using several platforms for visibility and providing a consistent brand image across these platforms could improve the performance of any ecommerce business, the article highlighted.

In other news, Vladimer Botsvadze, a global marketing and sales influencer, shared an article on how a mini warehouse staffed by robots can transform the future of online food shopping. With the ability to package almost 15,000 products with the help of just 15 human staff, the mini warehouse can be fitted inside any retail store the article noted.

3. Shopping – 306 mentions

The impact of the pandemic on holiday shopping, consumers views on shopping malls, and companies excelling in brick and mortar shopping experiences, were popularly discussed during the month of July. For example, according to an article shared by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest trade association, experts believe that even though shopping malls are currently struggling to impress the modern shopper, the socialisation and shopping experiences offered by them will ultimately cause consumers to return to these lifestyle spaces when the pandemic is over.

Neil Saunders, the managing director for GlobalData retail, meanwhile, discussed how Black Friday will become more bleaker this year. His conversation with the CNN revealed that retailers such as Macy’s will focus on online deals for Black Friday, as consumers actively take to online stores.

In other news, Trevor Sumner, an entrepreneur and investor, tweeted on how the CEO of Glossier is of the opinion that while Amazon has solved the problem of buying, it has killed shopping. She further stated that 2020 retail is about engaging, entertaining, and educating the modern day shopper; therefore, bringing human expertise to the online world is absolutely necessary.

4. Covid-19 – 255 mentions

The unpreparedness of retailers, store closures, job cuts, and retail tech innovations, were popularly discussed in July. According to an article shared by Evan Kirstel, a top B2B influencer, Harvard scientists have discovered new ways to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus by employing measures that include staggered working hours, social distancing at restaurants, and fixed timings for gyms and grocery stores.

Warren Whitlock, a digital business development strategist, meanwhile, discussed how a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-designed robot was capable of disinfecting a 4,000-square foot warehouse in only 30 minutes, and that it was being considered to be deployed at local supermarkets, grocery stores and schools. Built to function independently without human interference or supervision, the robot is being tested to adapt to changing environments.

In other news, Natalie Berg, a retail analyst, discussed the severe impact of Covid-19 on UK retail jobs. She added that those who failed to adapt to the pre-crisis environment were going to be the worst hit, and that the situation is likely to get grimmer in the coming months.

5. Sales – 185 mentions

Rebound sales post re-opening of stores, and growing retail opportunities, were some of the popularly discussed topics in July. According to an article shared by Michael, a retail expert, Best Buy reported a surge in sales in June when most of its stores re-opened. This was a clear indicator of brick and mortar retail still sustaining amid the coronavirus pandemic. Best Buy has been particularly doing well because of its tech gadgets category, signalling the success of retailers into non-essential products. It shows the growing interest of consumers for in-store visits.

In other news, Jason Del Rey, a business journalist, shared an article on Walmart unveiling its own subscription service, Walmart+, becoming an arch rival to Amazon Prime. The new service will cost $98 per year, including same-day grocery deliveries, fuel discounts at Walmart gas stations, reserved delivery, among other benefits.