Square Releases Second Annual Future of Commerce Report

Survey reveals that omnichannel operations continue to be top of mind for retail, restaurant, and beauty industries

Square released its second annual “Future of Commerce” report that reveals how retailers, restaurateurs – and for the first time, beauty businesses – continue to evolve and adapt their business models through the pandemic and whatever comes next. Square developed its Future of Commerce report to provide a look inside what’s working, what’s not, and what businesses are doing to prepare for the year ahead.

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“The beauty industry has changed immensely, giving businesses the opportunity to look at their operations and find ways to operate smarter and more efficiently”

To uncover these insights, Square collaborated with Wakefield Research to survey restaurateurs, retailers, beauty merchants, and consumers across the U.S. Additionally, Square sourced insights from businesses and industry experts to share how the business landscape is evolving, and how sellers can stay ahead of the curve.

“The future is full of opportunity for sellers of all types and sizes,” said Alyssa Henry, Executive Vice President, Square. “Commerce is constantly changing and we’re seeing that many of these changes are here to stay. Businesses that understand these shifts in consumer behavior can benefit by creating digital-first operations that prioritize the customer experience for enhanced brand loyalty and reputation.”

Restaurants have had a challenging year but are growing more optimistic. While 58% of restaurateurs are still concerned about the survival of their restaurant, that’s down from a staggering 92% last year. As a whole, restaurants are moving out of survival mode and into thinking about strategies to future-proof their businesses – for example, embracing omnichannel for the long-term.

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  • 69% of restaurants say they plan to offer online ordering even after COVID-19 subsides.
  • Restaurants that offer online ordering say an average of 34% of their revenue currently comes from online channels.
  • 49% of restaurants say they plan to offer first-party delivery even after COVID-19, while 62% say they plan to offer third-party delivery.

“The pandemic has validated our omnichannel strategy. It has validated everything. We went into this thinking that we wanted to be wherever our customers are,” said Mark Stutzman, CTO of Area15, an immersive arts, food, and entertainment venue in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Of course, that’s all of the social channels, and it’s search, it’s the web, it’s mobile – it’s giving them as many ways to transact within the venue as frictionlessly as possible.”

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