A recent retail event held by Advertising Age magazine with retail executives uncovered several insights on how retail will be forever changed as the result of the Coronavirus.
We all knew the retail landscape was changing, but few were ready to take advantage of that change.
3 Ways Retail Has Changed
While there were several changes outlined, there were 3 things that struck me as “game changers” in today’s environment
Curbside Pickup Is Here To Stay
There is an old saying in business that once you give the consumer something, it is hard to take it away. The Pizza industry learned this the hard way. Very few pizzas are ordered today without a coupon or some kind of discount. And it looks like Curbside Pickup will lead the way for retail following COVID-19.
My wife remarked a couple of weeks ago about how convenient that was. Driving up and having someone bring out your groceries, dinner,r, or Target order is quick and easy. In just a few months, it is now so ingrained in our psyche that we don’t want to go back to the old way of shopping.
That means stores will have to have personnel on hand to essential “shop” for customers. Someone will have to find the item, pack it, and ultimately bring it out to the car. That is an extra burden on the retail establishment, but one that they will have to acknowledge or be left behind.
This also means that there will be less “impulse buying” for the consumer. With the kids in the car, mom will not have to explain to her child why they can not have the candy bar or toy that normally is next to the checkout stand. And the consumer will be more focused on what they actually need at the time.
Contactless Options Are Important
Curbside Pickup is just one of the contactless options consumers are looking at. Home delivery and other ways to react to customers’ needs will be important from now on. In fact, consumers will be looking at ways to avoid in-store contact. While the retail store is not dead, the consumer will probably make fewer actual trips inside the store.
How your business reacts to this will be the key to success.
E-Commerce Will Define Retail
A lot of businesses were caught off guard when the COVID-Crisis hit. While most retail establishments had a website – many “Mom and Pop,” Small Businesses had given little thought to having to use it to “sell” their products. Within months we went from the successful business, not only just having a website to having a website that people could actually order something.
When you think about it, E-Commerce is actually the utmost in “contactless options.” Just like Curbside Pickup, people will want to order their merchandise when they want to and have it delivered when they want it.
Are You Ready For The New World Of Retail?
While there are more than 3 Ways Retail Has Changed, it is clear that the successful business in 2021 will look a lot different than the one in 2019. The year 2020 changed retail forever.