Friday Five, July 10: A Quick Summary Of The Top News Articles From The Past Month

07.10.2020 Articles

Friday Five, July 10: A Quick Summary Of The Top News Articles From The Past Month

Thanks to the increasing demand for all things digital, the traditional rules of retail are changing – possibly forever. As states continue to slowly re-open and life returns to a “New Normal,” the retail industry is wondering… what’s next? According to the experts, the #1 answer is innovation. Of course, innovation comes in many forms, from Instagram checkout to subscription services and one-on-one video chats.

In this week’s “Friday Five” blog, we explore industry-leading topics such as social media e-commerce, the updated digital expectations of retail, technology’s fun and social side, ongoing safety recommendations and requirements, and Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime. Read below for a quick summary of five top articles from Retail Dive, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, USA Today, and Business Insider.

1) Sephora Launches On Instagram Checkout With Over 80 Brands

Retail Dive – June 24, 2020

According to a company press release, Sephora recently launched on Instagram checkout through a digital storefront that allows shoppers to buy products directly from a user’s Instagram feed or stories. Sephora plans to sell more than 80 popular brands on Instagram checkout, and shoppers will be able to purchase products directly from Sephora’s Instagram feed or from several other brand partner accounts. According to Retail Dive, “Sephora’s move to Instagram checkout is a further indication of the growing importance of social commerce, especially as brands attempt to meet young consumers where they are.” The new program will still allow for customers to rack up “Beauty Insider points” with each purchase, further enhancing brand loyalty.

2) The Pandemic Is Rewriting The Rules Of Retail

Harvard Business Review – July 6, 2020

Although many states have lifted stay-at-home orders in the wake of COVID-19, it’s likely that consumers will continue to maintain current habits such as shopping online and limiting store visits. To survive that industry shift, retailers need to adopt proactive, progressive strategies. First of all, they should “adapt their brick-and-mortar operations to comply with health-and-safety regulations and meet basic customer expectations.” Next, they need to pivot their digital plans to offer a seamless e-commerce experience. That includes a mobile-friendly website, the option to “buy online pick up in store,” and a more convenient return and exchange program. Additionally, “retailers will have to make their in-store experiences even more extraordinary for those who can visit in person.

3) How Beauty Retail Will Change As Stores Reopen

Forbes – July 6, 2020

According to Stirling Murray, Founder & CEO of The Red Tree, a highly successful beauty advisory business in the U.K., the retail beauty industry is very resilient, and consumers are motivated to shop in-store “for the fun of finding and trying new products, even meeting up with friends and making social events out of it.” However, in a post-pandemic world, it’s likely that beauty retail will have to shift to protect the health and safety of employees and shoppers alike. For one thing, in-store one-on-one appointments may be replaced or combined with online-only consultations. Additionally, shoppable livestreaming, social media events, and virtual try-on parties may all be used to replace the important “social” aspect of beauty buyin

4) ‘Wearing A Mask Is Not About Fear’: Retailer Group Urges Governors To Require Everyone To Wear A Mask

USA Today – July 7, 2020

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents chains like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, says “different local mandates across the country have created confusion leading to conflicts between customers and store employees.” As a result, the association is urging governors to require masks in public to reduce confusion and enhance the health and safety of in-store shoppers and store associates. Additionally, to ease the risk of altercations, it’s recommended that retailers communicate safety policies with extensive signage, rather than by physically confronting customers about needing to wear a mask. Brian Dodge, the retail association’s president said it’s not a political stance. Rather, “wearing a mask is about respecting others and preventing the spread of a deadly disease.”

5) Walmart’s Amazon Prime Rival Is Reportedly Set To Launch This Month

Business Insider – July 7, 2020

In an effort to dominate e-commerce and compete against Amazon for online shoppers, Walmart is set to launch its version of Amazon Prime, Walmart+ in July. The program was originally supposed to launch in the spring, but COVID-19 temporarily postponed those plans. However, “perks of the $98 monthly subscription service may include gas discounts, members-only deals, and unlimited same-day delivery for groceries and other merchandise.” The launch of Walmart+ comes at a convenient time, when U.S. consumers are wary of shopping in-store and looking for e-commerce alternatives. According to Recode, “one proposed benefit of Walmart+ features giving subscribers priority treatment when it comes to grocery delivery slots, which have become increasingly crucial for consumers during the pandemic.”

That’s it for this week! Did you learn anything new in this week’s “Friday Five” blog? Let us know in the comments below, or on any of the BDS social media channels. We’ll see you back here on 7/17.

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That’s it for this week! Did you learn anything new in this week’s “Friday Five” blog? Let us know in the comments below, or on any of the BDS social media channels.