INSIGHTS

Alive and well! The new role of retail stores

While many might blame the impact of Covid-19 as the reason for a drastic change in the retail landscape, the truth is, this change has been coming for a while, retailers and consumers just weren’t expecting it so soon.

The retail industry has been disrupted by a change in consumer behaviours, technology and markets, driving retailers to adapt and invest in new technologies required to support demands. This has introduced a new blended retail model of omnichannel experiences that allows the seamless integration of online and offline services and is the key to success in today’s shopping environment, pandemic or not.

These developing solutions might come in the form of click and collect, utilisation of new technologies, alternate payment methods, merchandising and new in-store customer experiences for long term success.

According to Stuart Harker, click and collect businesses might look to extend their service to curb-side or car park collection as a common distancing practice. Australian stores may also adopt a form of product display that offers an extended range of merchandise via endless aisle technology and interactive kiosks to grow sales. Utilising technology to get people in and out of the store faster will help brands abide by social distancing rules while generating quick sales and growth in profit.

Over the past few months, consumers have become comfortable with online shopping and are used to this process being the only choice. When stores re-open and return to traditional trading hours, we can predict the volume of online shopping will go down. While online traffic may remain higher than it was pre-social distancing, consumers will most likely utilise online stores for research before making their way into physical locations to immerse themselves in the experiences brick and mortar stores have to offer.

The life expectancy of retail has always been dependent on a store's ability to adapt, so it makes sense that its future will be led by the development of innovative technologies and processes. This new form of retail will continue to keep Australian workers and consumers safe and happy with their in-store experiences while boosting efficiency and staying a step ahead in the market.

To get customers out of this comfort zone and into their space, retailers must look into technological integration that will make everyone’s experience easier and safer from now on. While consumers will be looking to visit stores that offer a new and exciting experience, what will you do to stand out? Get in contact with us at Storepro to discuss your options in updating your location before reopening to the public, so that you’re the first place they visit!