5 Retail Trends You Need for 2021

5 Retail Trends You Need for 2021

Check out 5 top retail technology trends to watch in 2021 and learn how The Peak Beyond is bringing these trends to brick-and-mortar retailers.

Interactive Retail Tech Trends of 2021 


2020 launched the world into the future, changing the way we shop forever. The pandemic managed to  propel us into the digital age of shopping, bringing with it an optimized, streamlined, and engaging experience for both retailers and shoppers. Here are 5 future retail trends that will help you put your best store forward in 2021 and beyond.


1. Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS)

Shoppers crave convenience and want to shop safely, and retailers are implementing new ways to sell online while making use of their physical stores as a center for delivering products at a faster pace. That’s where BOPIS comes in, or “buy online, pickup in-store” (BOPIS) shopping. Curbside pickup is one of the COVID retail trends that has become an essential way for brick-and-mortar stores to safely do business, meet their customers’ expectations, and maintain their revenue baseline. 

Throughout 2020, a growing number of shoppers chose BOPIS shopping and contactless pickup. Consumers have grown to prefer the convenience of ordering online, but with delivery delays, BOPIS shopping has become the preferred option that combines the ease of ecommerce with the personalized consumer experience of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. 

Beyond the ease, comfort, and instant gratification of BOPIS shopping, many consumers choose this method to support their local small businesses and meet their own environmental commitment to reducing waste. BOPIS shopping is a great option for consumers and retailers alike. Retailers need to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape in order to stay relevant by incorporating technology options that keep employees up to date and allow customers to feel safer for a seamless retail experience overall.

2. Multiple Payment Options

Along with the flexibility of shopping options, shoppers in 2021 want the versatility of multiple payment options. From contactless payment to “Buy Now, Pay Later” software that allows customers to pay in multiple installments (such as Sezzle and others), there are alternative payment options to meet every consumers’ desires and cash flow. 


The National Retail Federation found that 20% of shoppers made a contactless payment for the first time during the pandemic, and 57% of customers would continue using contactless payment even when the pandemic is over. The popularity of contactless payment options means that retailers need contactless point-of-sale (POS) readers and mobile POS systems. 


3. Self-Service Multimedia Technology

Many e-commerce brands have embraced virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for years. In 2021, you will see brick-and-mortar stores continuing to bring self-service multimedia technology into their stores. Consumers love the diversity of self-service multimedia technology options, from kiosks to order products without employee interactions to display boards that showcase the store’s offerings.

“Thanks to the progress that has already been made by self-service pioneers, such as Starbucks, today’s customers are expecting all retail experiences to be convenient and rewarding.” -Brendan Wichter, ATM Marketplace

Experience-based retail displays that allow shoppers to engage with physical products to learn more about the products will drive sales by attracting customers, fostering a loyal customer base, and giving consumers a reason to leave home. 

The Peak Beyond offers options for retailers to integrate self-service multimedia technology into their stores with:

  • Smart stores: Customers love store-wide interactive smart stations that allow customers to directly engage with products and learn more.
  • Interactive POP displays: Interactive merchandising stations give retailers the chance to speak directly to their customer base at the point of purchase. Customers can see brand information, videos, and detailed product specifications that they might not normally see in stores. With QR codes, consumers can receive the information they need on their own phones for easy accessibility.
  • Menu boards: Shoppers can see your store’s offerings at a glance by browsing eye-catching menu boards. Along with giving consumers the opportunity to learn more about each product, menu boards allow retailers to sync live inventory with POS integrations and eliminate lines.

Related: Bringing Retail Tech of Tomorrow into Businesses Today (October 2020)

4. Cashier-less Stores

Major retailers such as Apple and Whole Foods offer cashier-less options for shoppers who want the convenience of checking out at a store without interacting with staff members. Cashier-less shopping also allows retail staff to use their time more efficiently and aid the sales cycle when a customer requests help. Beyond a quicker shopping experience that maintains social distancing requirements, cashier-less stores empower customers to explore products on their own. This self-empowerment and engagement of these retail technology trends drives sales by encouraging higher basket sizes.


Shoppers who are interested in learning more about products without employee interaction at their own pace can use interactive retail technology such as Lift and Learn or Pick and Place. When a customer lifts a product from the display case, they see detailed information on a nearby touchscreen or on their own smart devices.

“In providing on-site product education and allowing the customer to make purchases without the involvement of a sales associate, if desired, Lift & Learn essentially bridges the gap between the physical store and e-commerce experiences while reducing the burden on the cannabis retailer.” -Anthony DiPrizio, CEO of Triple2 Digital

5. Personalizing the Buyer Journey with Predictive Analytics

As retailers integrate digital technology throughout their stores, they can get to know their customers and personalize the shopping experience. Retailers who use customer data can personalize calls to action and optimize messaging for shoppers. 

The retail industry’s emphasis on data-driven technology will also lead to predictive analytics that make managing the supply chain easier. Retailers can spot shopping tendencies and patterns in consumer behavior to boost sales and improve their inventory management.

Related: You Can't Go Another Day Without Consumer Behavior Data (February 2021)

Embrace innovative retail technology trends and create an engaging shopping experience with The Peak Beyond

In 2021, brick and mortar stores are integrating modern retail technology trends to create a shopping experience that gives shoppers the ease and convenience of online shopping with the tangibility of a traditional retail experience. The Peak Beyond’s technology offers today’s top retail technology trends in a variety of product offerings that address consumers’ changing needs. Get in touch today to learn more about how you can integrate top 2021 retail technology trends and create the best consumer experience.

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Published On:
September 14, 2021