Future of Commerce: Retail & Restaurant Reports

We developed the Future of Restaurants and Future of Retail reports to give you a snapshot of what businesses are investing in and what’s working — along with inspiration, tactics, and tools that can help set up your business for future success.

Future of Commerce: Retail & Restaurant Reports

Retailers and restaurateurs are taking control of the future by delivering on customers’ evolving expectations — with an intentional focus on technology, operating efficiency, and customer experiences. We developed the Future of Restaurants report and Future of Retail report to give you a snapshot of what businesses are investing in and what’s working — along with inspiration, tactics, and tools that can help set up your business for future success.

To uncover these insights, we collaborated with Wakefield Research to survey 500 restaurateurs, 500 retailers, and 1,000 consumers across the U.S. Additionally, we spoke to Square sellers and industry experts to share how retailers and restaurateurs are facing challenges, embracing innovative solutions, and forging new paths forward in 2021.

The Future of Retail Report

“Retail has changed rapidly over the last year. But the transformation is giving retailers a chance to slow down and invest in doing things smarter across both in-store and online channels. The changes aren’t a way to simply make it through — they’re permanent and redefining what a meaningful retail experience can look like.”

—David Rusenko, Head of eCommerce, Square

The Future of Restaurants Report

“We’re seeing more of a hub-and-spoke model, with the kitchen at the center of it all. Restaurants are embracing new channels for customers to interact with their business, effectively meeting them wherever they are. Each of these channels represents a revenue stream for the restaurant and they connect to the same kitchen and are all managed by the same centralized POS system.”

—Bruce Bell, Head of Square for Restaurants

91%

of restaurants have made, or plan to make, investments in kitchen automation technology.

62%

of restaurants expect their revenue to come from takeout or delivery in 2021.

58%

of restaurants prefer to use their own app or website for delivery.

88%

of retailers surveyed are now selling online.

66%

of revenue among retailers with a single location, say it now comes from online sales.

40%

of online revenue comes from social selling, for retailers selling on social media.

72%

of consumers prefer delivery over pickup, but only 37% of retailers plan to offer same-day delivery.

“Scrappiness is in our sellers’ DNA and, in 2021, we’re expecting more of the same. It will be more important than ever to find creative ways to meet consumers where they are most comfortable, providing memorable experiences, whether it’s in-store, online, curbside, and everywhere in between. Despite the difficult questions they face, we have faith that sellers will be able to weather the storm. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. One thing is certain: There will be a lot of hard work ahead as small businesses and the communities they serve begin to rebuild, and Square will be there to help.”

— Alyssa Henry, Seller Lead, Square