The retail industry has been dramatically affected by Covid and we are seeing new trends in consumer shopping habits.
Brick and mortar stores were slowing down prior to the pandemic but since Covid, changes are coming at a much more rapid pace. Shoppers that are going into stores are going into businesses with a clear intention to buy and retailers are seeing higher conversion rates than previously. Gone are the days of “I’m just looking”. If a customer is in your store, they are more than likely to convert into a sale as they are on a mission to buy. With Covid came new cleaning protocols and retail best practices we have all had to abide by in order to keep consumers safe.
There are new overnight cleaning companies that come in and sanitize your store after hours, so you start the next day clean and Covid free! Most stores now offer contactless payments, temperature checks and socially distant aisles which is great as it creates a more pleasing shopping experience. Brick and mortar isn’t the only area affect by Covid, online retail has seen changes as well. Its not just about shopping online and getting your merchandise delivered the next day. The consumer has become more mindful of what they are buying and look to shop more organic, locally produced and thoughtfully created. They are being pickier with how they spend their money and who they are shopping with. Consumers have increased their use of omnichannel services as well from just straight online shopping. They are adapting to new the social commerce platforms, contactless payment, virtual consultations, and curbside pickup. It is a newly adopted behaviour we will see as we move forward into our new retail reality.
Bottom line is retailers need to improve shopping efficiency, both online and offline, and be ready to respond to rapidly shifting needs as the pandemic evolves. The increased use of digital requires retailers to substantially increase their investment in omnichannel capabilities and create more experiential elements in their brick and mortar locations. Change is the key to staying in the game and adapting to our new normal!
Guest Writer: Janeil Mackay, Head of Retail at the Seattle Kraken