Pandemic Creates Generational Transformation of Retail Industry
The principles of selling today are the same as they were 100 years ago.
Although the art of selling has not changed, the way we sell underwent a transformational shift in the past 12 months because of COVID-19.
“We are seeing changes not only in consumer buying habits but also the methods retailers use to sell,” said Mitch Gould, founder and CEO of Nutritional Products International in Boca Raton. “I’ve been a retail professional for almost four decades and I have never seen such a shift in my career.
Gould compared the last year to Henry Ford creating the assembly line, which revolutionized manufacturing.
“During my career, I have seen how emails and the internet have affected the retail industry,” Gould said. “But since the pandemic started, the Gig economy has mushroomed, delivery has become almost instant, and 10 years of online growth occurred in a matter of months,” he said.
Gould said digital innovations can mean life or death for many retailers.
Salesforce research reported that 88 percent of customers now expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives. Further research from McKinsey indicates that 73 percent of customers have tried new shopping behaviors during the pandemic.
“The research indicates that more than three-fourths of consumers intend to continue their new behavior,” Gould said.
In an article in Forbes, Gould said the future of retail includes:
- Personalized acquisition and retention at scale
- Continually earned loyalty
- Adaptability and innovation.
“Brick-and-mortar stores, as they reopen this year, will emphasize the in-store experience,” Gould said. “Retailers have to give consumers more reasons to buy in person and forego the convenience of one-click purchasing.”
Gould listed some of the retail innovations that occurred or accelerated during the pandemic:
- Video conferencing, which existed before the pandemic, became an everyday occurrence for people. Zoom became a verb.
- Curbside pickup
- Delivery within 2 hours.
- Cashierless shopping
- Virtual fitting rooms
- Digital shelf tags and automated pricing that keeps retailers competitive
- In-store sensors that track customer behavior
- Click and Collect, which allows customers to pick up their goods in a participating store.
- Twitter “Buy Now” and Pinterest “Buy” buttons
- Augmented/virtual reality to bring products to life
- Online retail events
Gould and his NPI team keep up with the latest trends in retail because they work with new brands and products to enter the U.S. market or expand their presence here.
NPI works with domestic and international health and wellness companies seeking to take advantage of these new trends, as well as the expected economic recovery during 2021.
“Most days, I talk to CEOs of startups and established companies that want us to lay the groundwork for them in the American consumer market,” Gould said. “They realize they have to start planning now to ride the economic growth that will occur once COVID-19 is under control.”
To help health and wellness brands achieve success in the U.S., Gould developed his proprietary “Evolution of Distribution” platform that puts all the services a brand needs to sell their products in America under the NPI umbrella.
“We have veteran sales professionals, an in-house marketing team, and other necessary services to overcome any obstacles our clients may face when expanding their sales in the U.S.,” Gould said. “We provide a cost-effective, one-stop turnkey process for success in America.”
Gould is the main third of the NPI “Powerhouse Trifecta” of retail.
With Gould, NPI President Jeff Fernandez, who previously worked as a buyer for Amazon and Walmart, and Executive Vice President Kenneth E. Collins, formerly of Glanbia Performance Nutrition, NPI has a management team that is unsurpassed in the retail industry.
“Together, we probably have close to 100 years of retail knowledge and experience,” Gould said. “We put our cumulative expertise to work on behalf of our clients.”
For more information, visit Nutritional Products International online.
MORE ON NPI AND ITS FOUNDER
NPI is a privately-held company specializing in the retail distribution of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, functional beverages, and skincare products. NPI offers a unique, proven approach for product manufacturers worldwide seeking to launch or expand their products’ distribution in the U.S. retail market.
Mitch Gould, the founder of NPI, is a third-generation retail distribution and manufacturing professional. Gould developed the “Evolution of Distribution” platform, which provides domestic and international product manufacturers with the sales, marketing, and product distribution expertise required to succeed in the world’s largest market — the United States. Gould, known as a global marketing guru, also has represented icons from the sports and entertainment worlds such as Steven Seagal, Hulk Hogan, Ronnie Coleman, Roberto Clemente Jr., Chuck Liddell, and Wayne Gretzky.