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Why Christmas will be very different for retailers this year

This holiday season will herald new shopping behaviours among customers, according to a report from Accenture. 

E-commerce has been thriving since Covid-19 and is expected to remain popular among shoppers during the Christmas-New Year period and Accenture has advised Kiwi retailers to upgrade their e-commerce game to keep up with this trend and win over customers.

“Kiwis’ consumer habits are changing and we are expecting to see a marked increase in online shopping this holiday season,” said Ben Morgan, MD at Accenture New Zealand. 

The company’s research found that more than 80 per cent of shoppers were likely to maintain their increased use of in-app ordering and home delivery services after Covid-19.

“Lockdown left many businesses scrambling to get e-commerce platforms up and running. This holiday season those investments are set to pay dividends, but retailers should be preparing for more disruption in the future,” Morgan added. 

With the growth of the e-commerce sector, immersive technology is on the rise. According to Accenture, 64 per cent of the world’s leading consumer brands are starting to invest in immersive experiences.

“New technologies such as augmented reality, 360-degree video, and virtual reality are already being used by the world’s leading brands to entice and excite customers,” Morgan said. 

“Immersive technology resonates with consumers. It gets them engaging with products in a way that is much more personal than the traditional approach to e-commerce platforms of having a photo and product description.”

Morgan noted that Kiwi retailers should reimagine their e-commerce offerings to be successful in the years to come. These technologies are now much more affordable and their widespread adoption is being seen as the next step in the evolution of e-commerce.

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