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Technology and digitalisation began transforming the retail and e-commerce market long before Covid-19 hit. However, the pandemic has dramatically fast-tracked this transformation and changed the way we shop, possibly forever. Retail businesses have been forced to adapt and develop innovative methods of selling their products or services, or risk losing customers and incurring heavy losses. So much so that innovation has become the difference between survival and failure. Fortunately, this innovation has led to a retail revolution that has made the shopping experience fun and straightforward for the customers and lucrative for businesses even in a slow-growing economy. Here’s how the pandemic has accelerated innovation in retail and how has it benefitted everyone.

Online Shopping 

Although already a rage, online shopping did not appeal to all retail businesses before the pandemic, as it does now. The arrival of Covid-19 was a wake-up call for all those businesses that believed face-to-face selling in a shop was more effective than selling products online. After the pandemic, businesses have realised that an e-commerce presence can make all the difference in whether a business stays afloat or sinks during adverse market situations such as epidemics and natural calamities. As a result, we have seen tremendous innovation in bespoke e-commerce platforms that allow customers to do so much more than simply shop online. There has also been a rise in the number of businesses innovatively using social media to sell their products and services. All the major supermarket brands have increased and streamlined their website and online shopping experience to help customers order their groceries from the comfort of their homes. 

The Use of VR/AR

One of the best e-commerce innovations that have positively impacted the way customers shop for goods online, is the use of AR/VR to make purchasing decisions. Many innovative businesses have developed and integrated AR/VR elements on their e-commerce platforms that allow people to try the products virtually and make an informed purchasing decision. It has made online shopping more enjoyable and convenient, compelling more and more people to buy their products online instead of physically going to the shops.

Tracking & Deliveries

Another area that has evolved in the last few years is supply chain and transportation. With the help of technology, businesses have increased visibility and control of supply chain elements and can easily track and transport deliveries. Customers also have more control over when and how their goods are delivered. 

Better Online Security

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of security in ensuring that the customers have a safe and stress-free shopping experience online. Businesses are leaving no stone unturned in developing innovative and secure payment gateways for e-commerce websites and other security applications to protect their business and customers. 

The retail and e-commerce sector is experiencing unprecedented innovation. And businesses within this industry need all the help they can get to carry on their R&D and keep improving customer experience. The R&D Tax Credits scheme is the perfect way retail and e-commerce businesses can gain funding for their innovative solutions. Give us a call on 0800 035 2510 or email us at info@data-fox.com to find out to make a successful retail industry-related R&D Tax Credit claim and how we can help get you the maximum potential payout for your innovation.