Retailers are in uncharted waters with the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Store closings, apprehensive consumers, ensuring healthy environments for employees & consumers, staying profitable, the list goes on.
As retail re-emerges from this pandemic, it is not business as usual. Overnight, retail is faced with a new way of retailing and new rules governing how they do so. Below are 10 proven methods for helping to bring retail back to the “new normal” and getting revenue flowing.
- Communicate to consumers how you are making your retail stores “worry free”. Much like the media has fueled people’s concerns, use those same tools to promote the steps your team is taking to make your retail stores a safe environment to shop in. Entrance signage explaining how your store offers “worry-free” shopping should be part of this solution.
- Offer a solid BOPIS solution. Buying online and picking up in store is the new normal and that is here to stay. 94% of retailers will use a BOPIS solution by 2021 and consumers expect it. Research also shows that a well-executed BOPIS solution builds brand loyalty and cause 38% of shoppers to make additional purchases when picking up their items.
- Offer sanitizing solutions to consumers upon entering your stores. A dedicated display that provides latex gloves, hand sanitizer, masks and other such items will reduce consumers fears of shopping in your stores.
- Ensure all final store transactions are touchless. The days of asking customers to sign receipts and terminals are over. SMS or emailing customers their receipts will not only make them more comfortable, but will create an opportunity for future marketing contact.
- Offer dedicated, properly spaced out POS stations throughout the store. Giving customers the comfort of social distancing from others in the store will encourage longer and more frequent visits.
- Curb-side pickup is promoting strong brand loyalty and return visits. Consumers love the convenience and worry-free aspects of this offering. Be clear about how the process works before your customers arrive so it doesn’t create frustration. Ideally this is part of a full BOPIS solution.
- Self-service kiosks and checkouts are becoming a preferred method for consumers. Providing e-commerce, endless aisle, and social media integrations will bring in incremental business and allow for post-visit touch points with customers.
- Integrate strategic merchandising displays adjacent to POS areas. Customers love the convenience and you will witness incremental revenues with impulse purchases.
- Implement clearly marked shopping paths and spacing at checkout lines. Floor decals, POS signage, queue systems will maintain order and consistency with all of your customers’ visits. This is an important tool for customers feeling like you have a well thought out strategy for a safe retail environment.
- Make post-visit communications and marketing a consistent element of your strategy. Capitalize on the shoppers visit to reinforce that you have their best interests in mind and offer them incentives to return.
There are many opportunities for retailers to reassess how they operate, and customers will patronize those retailers that act swiftly and intelligently to meet those expectations. The COVID- 19 crisis is an abrupt curve in the road for retailers, but it’s not the end of the road unless you fail to navigate the turn.
Andrew Pierce is the CEO of MINT, a team comprised of industry leaders and highly experienced executives in the best practices for retailers.
For more information about MINT, please visit https://experiencemint.com