This contributed story originally appeared in Retail TouchPoints on Dec. 18 2020. Excerpts from the story below. To see the full story visit

Due to ongoing social distancing measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s anticipated that ecommerce will keep control of its increased share of the retail market over the next year. This means that the digitalization of the store will be crucial for retailers to successfully adapt to the “new normal.” But a thriving ecommerce business must begin with a strong foundation.

Retail supply chains have been thrust into the spotlight amid COVID-19, as many inefficiencies have been uncovered through major disruptions caused by the pandemic. A recent study from WMG, University of Warwick found that most retailers are not able to react to fluctuations in demand in real time, but they want to: A staggering 74% of respondents indicated they’d like to switch to prescriptive or autonomous technology in the next five years. This suggests technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will see significant growth in the next few years.