Archive for December, 2020

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When a retail chief executive asked Retail Week editor Luke Tugby to summarise this year for retail in one word, he replied: “Defining”.

Tugby writes that 2020 has been defining for the industry in numerous ways – ways that should bring retailers optimism and hope as we move into 2021. 

Firstly, it’s been defining for the industry’s workforce; shop floor staff, warehouse workers and delivery drivers were deemed key workers during the initial lockdown as essential retail shops remained open to serve the nation. 

“Tales of individuals going above and beyond to help elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating customers shone a light on their true value and made us all feel proud to be a part of this industry,” Tubgy said. Supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury’s increased bonuses as a token of appreciation for their incredibly hard-working staff.

It’s also been a defining year in terms of company culture. The pandemic has inspired many retailers to focus on putting people before profit, turning their attention to helping communities while also championing sustainability.

Many third-party partnerships have been formed this year as a way to develop new revenue streams – such as AO launching physical stores inside Tesco. 

The culture of decision-making has also been transformed. Ideas that are generated on the shopfloor are now being passed up the chain to the c-suite. This has flipped the typical hierarchy on its head, enabling brands to remain closer to their customers through a ‘bottom up’ approach.

Chief executives are extremely appreciative of the quick responses of their store staff in coming up with innovative ways of working, enforcing coronavirus-secure operations and introducing new initiatives in days and weeks, as opposed to months. 

For example, B&Q transformed the warehouse space in its stores into ‘digital hubs’ within a matter of weeks, which enabled it to provide speedy delivery from nearly 60 of its biggest stores. 

Central teams are now working differently, too. M&S is just one business that acknowledges that the landscape has been transformed forever – its ‘Never the Same Again’ initiative is aimed at leveraging lessons from the pandemic to become “a faster, more efficient and more digitally focused business”.

M&S has also launched MS2, which is a brand new division that creates “a single integrated online, digital and data team”. Boss Steve Rowe said that it “flips the model” with regard to how the brand thinks and acts, and now many other companies are following suit. 

Of course, it’s also been a defining year when it comes to the way in which people are shopping and the effect this has had on bricks and mortar retail. Lockdowns led to a surge in online sales, and many consumers are expected to continue shopping in this way post-pandemic. 

Yet, as Tugby notes: “If there is one thing we can all rely on retail for, it is an innate ability to reinvent and evolve. It has been doing so for centuries and will do so again, even during the toughest of economic times.” 

While there’s no doubt that this has been a tough year for the sector, many retailers will also be “galvanised” by the experiences of the last year and head into 2021 with renewed hope, optimism and vigour. 

More challenges will lie ahead, but once again the sector has proved it is able to learn lessons, adapt and transform at an incredible speed. 

Tugby concludes: “As we near the end of the most defining of years, I am more certain than ever that retail will emerge even stronger in 2021.”

As a leading visual communications specialist, our solutions can help your retail business to emerge stronger than ever in 2021 and engage your audience on a deeper and more meaningful level. Get in touch to find out more.

Your physical retail stores are so much more than bricks and mortar. Each store is a representation of your brand and plays a pivotal role in shaping customer perceptions. 

With today’s consumers increasingly exposed to technologies that engage them and enhance their in-store experience, identifying and adopting the right tools is key to differentiating your brand and standing out from the crowd. 

Engaging customers with digital signage 

Digital signage is fast becoming an essential in-store technology. Implementing an effective signage strategy can boost incremental sales by as much as a quarter, found one study cited by BizTech, with another survey uncovering that digital signs influence the purchasing decision in almost seven in ten (68%) shoppers.

Introducing Delta Signage 

As well as being more immersive than their static counterpart, digital signs are also helping retailers to operate safely during the pandemic and keep staff and customers safe. Whether they are used to relay real-time safety messages, display information to support traffic flow or facilitate touchless payments, these signs are providing a safer and overall better shopping experience.

Delta Signage is a specially designed, cost-effective solution that enables you to display engaging and relevant messages on sleek, modern screens positioned right in front of your customers at the point of sale. 

The digital signage solution is scalable, powerful and is currently used by global brands and high street retailers alike.

Delta Signage empowers you to transform your in-store experience and at the same time, helps you to improve marketing compliance. It can even help to address some of the logistical challenges with hard copy point of sale (POS). 

Our solution works with Workstream X and has been developed to give customers a unique and engaging impression of your brand – driving purchases and loyalty in return. 

Five of the main benefits include:

  1. It’s turnkey. Everything you need to set up and play is sold as a convenient, off-the-shelf package, saving you valuable time and resources. 
  2. It’s intuitive. The smart interface allows you to easily play your most relevant content in the place you want it to be seen.
  3. It’s flexible. Our packages allow you to build your very own screen packages – you’re not limited to screen sizes or formats. 
  4. It’s robust. Integrated with a system that delivers content to some of the world’s biggest retailers, Workstream X is reliable and powerful. 
  5. It’s cloud based. You don’t need specialist IT skills or infrastructure to implement our solutions – we’ve built them for you. 

With our solution, it takes just minutes to log in, schedule and start playing your best content in front of your customers. Get in touch today to find out more.

As business premises start to reopen once again after months of shut-downs, managers face fresh challenges when it comes to logistics and public safety. 

From health checks to social distancing, dispensers and traffic control, Security Magazine writes that running a facility in a post-coronavirus world ‘means a lot more moving pieces than pre-pandemic and looks to be that way for the foreseeable future.’ 

Thankfully, technology can help businesses overcome challenges related to post-Covid operations. One example is digital signage, which can help limit the risks of in-person operations and ensure businesses can continue to run smoothly whatever the future may hold. 

Begin at the entrance 

Installing digital signage at the store entrance can significantly enhance and manage inward traffic flow, meaning you can enforce and adhere to social distancing guidelines while suggesting the best routes for customers to get to where they want to be.

Visitors can also harness the technology on smartphones or tablets as they navigate around the premises, with QR codes populating wayfinding directions or product information via a web browser. Used in this way, mobile linked with signage technology can help ensure people continue to adhere to guidelines in-store, while streamlining navigation, reducing touchpoints and improving safety. 

Inside the premises 

Of course, Covid-19 doesn’t stop at the entrance, so you need signage solutions for controlling viral spread within your premises too. Extra options for interactive wayfinding can help in managing visitor capacity and control traffic flow around the space, guaranteeing peace of mind while allowing ample space and direction for social distancing. 

Wayfinding technology can show routes for visitors to follow to help minimise wandering and interactions. Again, using mobile technology, visitors can directly access these routes from their mobile devices, and businesses can also use the technology to deliver push notifications with updates, alerts and even promotions.

Communication remains key 

In the competitive world of retail, technology integrations that improve communications are more important than ever. As government policies change and the requirements for premises shift, it’s crucial to highlight public health guidelines, as well as risk management and screening procedures – for customers and employees alike.

With software, digital signage can be an effective platform in delivering these messages, with options for remote management and editing, real-time notifications and touch-free interaction. 

Wayfinding solutions together with mobile solutions, can provide the first step to communicating messages to customers. Content management software can integrate desktop and mobile notification systems into employee workstations and visitor devices, providing instant communication for urgent changes that need to be made.

This digital reminder system can help to make sure guidelines and navigation are enforced and also tell front-line workers where there is an exposure or if there’s a need to react quickly. Also, as people use their own devices to navigate the premises, their directions, information and reminders can all be referenced in a central location to streamline experiences. 

The Delta Group is a visual communications company with strong capability in digital marketing solutions for Retail, FMCG and the Film/Entertainment industry. We have worked with our customers to develop digital signage and instore messaging. Our content management systems allow communications to be scheduled and controlled both centrally and locally, to ensure optimum results.

If you need help with creative content generation for your digital signage, look no further than The Delta Group. Find out more about our solutions by getting in touch today.

Up until the start of the pandemic, there were many calls and concerns that the fashion industry needed to do more in its sustainability drive. 

In fact, 2019 was hailed as the ‘year of the awakening’ in Mckinsey & Company’s State of Fashion Report, with customers demanding more transparency and social responsibility from fashion brands of all sizes. 

It was the year that sustainability hit the mainstream, Drapers writes. Brands like John Lewis ditched 5p plastic bags along with click-and-collect packaging, while luxury brand Kering promised to become carbon neutral across its own company and throughout its supply chain by 2025.

Ushering in a new decade, 2020 was expected to serve as a ‘springboard’ for collaborative and urgent action. But disruption from Covid-19 on livelihoods, lives, the economy and the fashion industry saw sustainability slip down the priority list – despite becoming more important than ever before. 

Creating a sector that’s mindful of people and planet 

Kerry Bannigan, founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign, acknowledged that Covid-19 had upended billions of people’s lives. At the same time, it has exposed the vulnerabilities of the world and “the fragility of the system that the fashion industry operates in.”

“The industry has seen unparalleled disruption to its operations,” Bannigan continued, “and faces a reset to create a resilient sector that is mindful of people and planet.”

Sustainability is back on the agenda 

New sustainability campaigns were few and far between at the onset of the pandemic as businesses focused on survival. But this halt on progress was only temporary. 

In May, German e-tailer Zalando teamed up with the Sustainable Apparel Collection (SAC) and its technology subsidiary Higg Co, to make sustainability assessments essential for brands selling goods on its platform. 

Then, a few months later in August, Selfridges released its ambitious sustainability initiative ‘Project Earth’, which called on brands to adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and inspired the store to create its first own-brand resale model.

A number of small sustainable brands were set up during the pandemic – for instance, underwear brand Pantee and flipflop company FoamLife.

Chana Baram, from research company Mintel, agreed that sustainability efforts are starting to pick up. “Especially since Sir David Attenborough’s latest Netflix documentary, A Life on Our Planet, was released in October. Sustainability is becoming front of mind again for people.”

Aligning commercial, ethical and environment values

While the halt in trade under lockdown demonstrated just how vulnerable some business models were, it also offered a chance to align commercial, ethical and environmental values. 

Back in the summer, H&M released a summer dress collection made using recycled fabrics within its Conscious range. It also laid out new plans to use only recycled and sustainably sourced materials by 2030. 

Global sustainability manager at the retail chain, Pascal Brun, stressed how vital sustainability investment is during this global crisis: “We see our sustainability strategy as even more important and integral to our business than ever before [to be more resilient in times of crisis]. 

“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated our plans and pushed us further to focusing on our key goals. We believe strongly in investing in our future, whether by strengthening our expertise internally or investing in future innovations or collaborating with external industry partners in order to develop and progress further.”

Tackling issues within the supply chain 

The pandemic also highlighted issues within some retail brands’ supply chains. Cancelled orders and closed factories saw manufacturing industries in overseas countries such as Bangladesh plunge into chaos. 

Events such as these have encouraged more brands to look at how their workers are treated, as well as their overall clothing production process and its social and ethical impact. 

Head of sustainability business for M&S, Carmel McQuaid, said that much of the company’s focus for its sustainability drive has been on its response to the pandemic. 

McQuaid continued: “We’ve been doing all we can to support our longstanding clothing suppliers, such as continuing to offer vendor finance so suppliers can get early access to cash, paying for all shipped and made garments, conducting virtual visits in place of physical audits, and ensuring safeguarding measures are put in place to protect workers.”

The pandemic has also made consumers more conscious about where their clothes come from. In a Mintel report, 56% of people said sustainability is somewhat or very important when purchasing fashion items, while 38% began thinking about sustainable fashion after seeing coverage on factory workers and 35% from watching documentaries about the environment.

Next year to focus on ‘second lives’ 

Experts believe that there will be a strong push for resale, rental and recycled clothing next year, as well as a greater focus on transparency, biodiversity and carbon emissions.

Jodi Everding from contemporary clothing brand Filippa K reinforced the idea that transparency will be vital in 2021. “Consumers will continue to take brands to task to know where their clothes come from and how they are made so that they can justify spending with one brand over another.”

Everding added that brands will also begin to understand that they need to be involved in the process of getting their old clothes back into circulation – “not only because some governments are implementing EPL [environmental profit and loss] requirements but also because it’s a profitable business model.”

Good progress is being made 

Despite the challenges this year has thrown at many industries, good progress has been made across many areas of sustainability. 

It’s vital, moving forward, that brands maintain focus on sustainability and ensure it’s at the heart of everything they do. If you’re in need of assistance in this area, The Delta Group can work with you to help embed sustainable practices into your communications. 

We’re also committed to improving our sustainability credentials. For instance, we’re transitioning to 100% green electricity, we’ve invested in new printing presses with improved carbon footprints, and are capable of switching single-use materials and plastics to more recyclable and sustainable alternatives. To find out more please email: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk.

Retail chain closures may have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but experts have stressed that it’s not all doom and gloom. 

Retail guru Mary Portas is one such expert. As the Guardian reports, she claims there is ‘too much nostalgia and too little optimism’ around the British high street’s future. 

“The days of stacking stuff high and selling it fast are completely and utterly over,” Portas said. “The brands that dominated did that for years and they failed to offer anything beyond mediocrity.” 

Writing for Financial Times, Portas references the demise of Topshop. She claims the main reason why the once-jewel in Arcadia’s crown has failed is that ‘it forgot that creativity is the ultimate economic resource’. 

A new focus on experiential

“We’re looking at a whole new generation who aren’t going to prop up the likes of Philip Green any more,” Portas continues. “They’re not supporting businesses who don’t prioritise people or the planet. We’re moving away from that: there is a new value system at play.” 

So, what does the future of the high street look like? Portas claims that she is now focused on what she has called “the kindness economy,” wherein she predicts growth for high street retailers which have an overarching philosophy involving some form of contribution towards making life better. 

This will translate to fewer stores selling actual goods, and a greater focus on experiential – which covers everything from street performers and escape rooms, to restaurants and nail salons. 

In town centres, physical stores will survive provided they can offer an experience that extends beyond the purely transactional – quality service that cannot be replicated online, a space that brings people together, or expert insight. 

Many studies affirm that innovation, sustainability and standing for something are all vital in inspiring brand loyalty among younger generations who demand social responsibility from the brands they buy from. This applies to the high street, where the most successful retailers will be the ones that offer a blend of retail, entertainment, wellbeing and culture. 

Local boutique businesses and pop-ups are predicted to thrive in high streets that have strong, local communities. Google and American Express are launching initiatives to inspire customers to shop local suggests where experts feel the future is headed.

“Covid-19 has crystallised a social and economic movement that has been bubbling under this past decade,” Portas continued. “We’ve seen mass introspection and a re-examination of how we live and want to live.” 

Portas cites a global study which found that 77% now say that they value decency in business just as much as convenience and price. “Deeper, meaningful connections with where you live will become far more important than a day trip to an out-of-town shopping centre or retail park.”

If you’re looking to add experiential to your mix, let the experts at The Delta Group help. Our experiential team can help you to create and deliver memorable experiences to promote your products, bring your brand to life and engage your audience. Get in touch today to find out more.

As the end of the year fast approaches, the time has come for industries to set their sights on the future and predict what 2021 will have in store for them.

Suffice to say, many industries – including retail – will be glad to see the back of 2020.

A new year brings new opportunities and brands are keen to start afresh with a renewed sense of optimism. The start of the coronavirus vaccination roll-out brings hope for the economy’s recovery.

In this article, we cast a spotlight on retail packaging and consider three key trends likely to heavily influence design in 2021.

Sustainability remains a core focus

Of course, coronavirus has dominated conversations this year. But luckily, brands have not forgotten that the climate crisis remains our greatest challenge – and as a result, writes Packaging Europe, sustainability remains the watchword for packaging design.

So says designer Anna Sutherland: “All of the leading FMCG brands still have stringent packaging goals to meet and increasing pressure building from consumers and government regulations.” 

Prioritising sustainability is not just the right thing to do, it also plays into consumer habits and demands. In a survey released in October, 55% of British shoppers admitted to actively seeking sustainable packaging. 

Over six in ten (62%) said they are thinking about sustainability more than they were five years ago, with shoppers under 45 most keen for the sector to prioritise environmentally friendly packaging.

Brands must continue to rethink package design – for instance, by ditching traditional category codes for items and using more sustainable formats instead, such as alcohol in pulp bottles, or body wash in aluminium cans. 

There are many examples of major brands making bold sustainability moves. Colgate has launched what’s claimed to be the world’s first recyclable toothpaste tube, while Smarties is now using recyclable paper wrappers for its chocolate. 

As Sutherland states: “Brands can no longer get away with greenwashing and many are becoming fully transparent with supply chain in order to engage consumers.”

Brands get experimental 

We are starting to see more experimental sustainable materials used for packaging design, too – including innovative biomaterials made using seaweed, mushrooms, corn-starch and so on. It is not completely clear how such raw materials would fit into the circular economy, but in future they may “create a new aesthetic trend in themselves,” says Sutherland.

Greater push for omnichannel design 

By now brands are more than aware of the importance of joining channels in order to provide the best possible experience for customers. 

Packaging must follow suit: while brands are experimenting with omnichannel design, at present the majority of packages are optimised for brick-and-mortar stores. This will need to change, especially with new e-commerce and subscription services proving increasingly popular among consumers, which requires a fresh approach to package design. 

For instance, forward-thinking brands optimising packaging for delivery while ensuring they deliver a customer experience that sets them apart from the rest. Apple is a good example: it has decided to no longer ship a power adapter in its iPhone boxes to reduce its environmental impact. The lighter and slimmer box means that 70% more items can fit on a shipping pallet and customers are encouraged to use the plugs they already have at home. 

Packaging that works harder 

Covid has changed in-store shopping habits: consumers are keen to get in and out of the shop, as opposed to spending a long time browsing. What this means is that packaging will need to go a step further to grab shoppers’ attention at the point of sale. 

The Delta Group – one step ahead of the trends

The Delta Group can help you to effectively harness the latest trends in packaging design, especially when it comes to sustainability. 

For instance, we have a wide-format, single-pass Nozomi printer which prints directly onto corrugated materials. This offers a more cost-effective and sustainable solution by reducing plastics and glues. 

Overall, we operate with sustainability front of mind at all times. We make sure we procure materials from eco-friendly sources with low energy consumption and optimum water usage, and are now using 100% green electricity.

If you’d like to find out more about this or our Nozomi printing solutions, get in touch today.

In today’s ultra-connected consumer market, brands are able to leverage a limitless combination of media to communicate messages and inspire shoppers through their doors. 

The Drum writes that looking at the bigger picture and creating a plan by desired outcome – rather than silo – will lead to better results compared to using a single channel. After all, people engage with a multitude of ad-supported media and platforms each day, so brands should bear this in mind when planning how to boost in-store footfall. 

Combining mobile and out-of-home (OOH) advertising

The latest platform duo driving results is mobile advertising and OOH locations, the article continues. While OOH is a leading mass advertising medium, as it’s present at every bus stop and street corner, mobile tends to be more of a one-on-one channel, and an effective way to reach individuals with personalised communications. 

Mobile is also a valuable source of data that can show user locations, letting brands target the right audience and measure engagement.

So, combining these two mediums offers the best of both worlds: you can display ads at numerous touchpoints with OOH then utilise quantifiable data provided by mobile, so that you can enhance campaign performance and drive in-store visits. 

Whatever your goal, this partnership can be leveraged in numerous ways to create more effective campaigns. Whether it’s improving audience segmentation, proximity targeting or precise location-based advertising, blending mobile with OOH enables brands to effectively serve shoppers mobile ads when they are near a store and/or an OOH display – boosting reach and optimising ad spend in return. 

This strategy also allows you to accurately measure the impact of your campaign. By leveraging the data from mobile and OOH, you’ll have an accurate and detailed picture of campaign performance – so you can fine-tune it and further drive in-store visits. 

Deliver the best in-store experience with digital screens 

If mobile and OOH have enticed shoppers into the store, then it’s important that you deliver a quality customer experience while they browse and purchase. Digital screens can help with this by sharing engaging, data-backed, real-time messaging across different locations throughout the store. 

Whether they entertain with interactive experiences at the till point, inform with product or brand news, or push personalised messages through beacon technology, digital signs can help to bring your in-store experience into the 21st century.

If you need support with creative content generation, we can assist. At The Delta Group, we are expanding our digital screen offering and can extend OOH and mobile content to in-store for a complete marketing loop. Get in touch today to find out more.

UK retail has set itself an ambitious goal: achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. This doesn’t just apply to UK-based operations, but also across retailer supply chains. 

It’s a tall order, but far from unobtainable. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that UK consumers should expect the items they buy to be produced with as little impact on the environment as possible by 2040. 

The BRC has created a Climate Action Roadmap specifically for retailers. As the Grocer notes, the zero-carbon goal puts the sector 10 years ahead of the government’s 2050 net-zero pledge.

BRC head of sustainability, Peter Andrews, hailed the roadmap as ground-breaking as it includes supply chains. Up until this point, carbon roadmaps had focused solely on retailers’ own operational emissions. 

“We recognise as retailers the biggest impact we have on the planet in terms of climate emissions is through our supply chains,” Andrews acknowledged. “It’s about 90% of our impact.”

The BRC worked alongside sustainability advisory firms and major retail organisations to create the map, which consists of five pathways along which UK retail must progress. 

The initial three pathways are: putting greenhouse gas data at the core of business decisions; moving sites including stores to renewable energy sources; and moving to low-carbon logistics particularly in road freight. 

The fourth pathway hones in on the supply chain. It involves examining the raw materials being specified, manufactured and put into products and touching on all areas of that, from recycled content to deforestation and more. The fifth pathway brings everything together by assisting consumers and staff in living low-carbon lifestyles. 

As it’s important for short-term progress to be tracked, the roadmap has five-year ‘milestones’ as part of each pathway. Here’s an example: 

  • Pathway one – ensure retailers measure and publicly release greenhouse gas emissions by 2025
  • Pathway two – 100% renewable electricity by 2030 
  • Pathway three – covering logistics, expects 100% zero-carbon heavy goods vehicles by 2035
  • Pathway four – for the supply chain, expecting zero deforestation from major commodities by 2030 
  • Pathway five – employee engagement initiatives and more plant-based food sales across the next five years

Andrews says there may be barriers to the roadmap, such as the quality of government data. “That’s going to be one of the focuses for next year: how do we work with the government to make sure that data is captured effectively and that we can really track and measure progress against it?”

So far the roadmap has received over 60 signatories from retailers including Sainsbury’s, M&S, John Lewis and Asda, though Andrew says this number is bound to grow. 

“We’re looking at the big systemic barriers facing retailers to decarbonise and if we solve most of those then it should enable the entire industry to move things forward faster,” Andrews said.

The Delta Group is already doing its bit. We’re now using 100% green electricity, have changed lighting in our factories to LED which has cut energy consumption by 90%, and are on the Gas carbon offset scheme, as part of the UN Market Zero Carbon initiative. We have a segregated waste stream now and close loop (where technically suitable), and we also close loop our printing plates across two of our sites. 

We will be soon unveiling more on our sustainability drive. So watch this space…

Over one quarter of retailers have increased their customer communication efforts compared with pre-pandemic levels. 

This is according to telecommunications provider Esendex, which conducted a survey to uncover how retailers are adapting their strategies to suit the current climate. 

As Retail Times reports, the survey honed in on business messaging habits in particular. Compared to pre-Covid, 28% of retailers admit to sending more messages to current and potential customers, while 48.5% are sending the same amount. Just over one in ten (13%) admitted to sending fewer messages than before the pandemic struck. 

Breaking it down by activity type, retailers are sending business messages on: 

  • Marketing/promotional activity (30.23%)
  • Appointment management (23.26%)
  • Delivery information (23.26%)
  • Customer services/process updates (16.28%)
  • Customer satisfaction surveys (6.98%)

Senior brand development manager at Esendex, Amy Robinson, acknowledged that maintaining a high level of customer communication has never been so important, as retailers have had to adapt how and what they message shoppers. 

She continued: “The rise in SMS messaging, in particular, may be in part due to businesses trying to ‘cut through the noise’ and content saturation, preferring a method than has a 95% open rate.”

As the pandemic continues, Robinson believes that promotional and marketing initiative planning for the next year will look very different for retailers across the country, as they focus on attracting and retaining customers. 

On the back of the survey, Esendex shared some tips on how retailers can use business messaging effectively during the pandemic. They include: 

  • Keep it personal – customers value and almost expect personal service these days. It can help to encourage impulse buying and inspire loyalty – just make sure you have a clear call to action to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 
  • Gain valuable feedback – consider carrying out customer satisfaction surveys, as this will help you identify weaknesses so that in a year’s time, you’ll be able to see clear improvements.
  • Be as helpful as possible – in a retail context, this would involve keeping customers informed on things like opening times, delivery information, and even steps you are taking to keep everyone safe in-store.

If you’re looking to enhance your visual communications strategy, we can help. The Delta Group is an award winning, creative-led POS manufacturer, as well as Europe’s leading visual communications specialist. We can help with your in-store and online initiatives, as well as your ecommerce packaging. Get in touch today.

The first lockdown inspired many shoppers to try out new retail brands. In fact research from Braze, cited by Retail Week, shows that 80% of people who have made a purchase since March 2020 have been new customers. 

But these new customers aren’t loyal; retention rates stooped to just 3.32% after three months. That compares to 7.86% during ‘normal times’. 

So, just how can retailers win back these new customers now and in the new year? Retail Week offers some tips:

Engage early on 

Communicating with shoppers soon after purchase is key to retention. James Manderson from Braze says brands that did this at the start of lockdown enjoyed four times higher retention rates over a 30-day period as a result.

Retargeting campaigns, which involve ads that track browsers or buyers onto different web pages reminding them of certain services and products, can be highly successful. As can push messaging, provided shoppers opt-in to receiving this form of communication. 

Adopt a multichannel approach 

You will confuse customers if your channels don’t join up, and it could put them off shopping with you in future. In contrast, a multichannel approach which reaches shoppers via mobile, email and desktop is far more effective when it comes to re-engagement. 

Manderson recommends tapping into underused channels, like web push notifications. Retailer Anthropologie took this approach; it initially pushed purely text-based messaging, but over time added graphics and product images and experienced click-through rates 22% higher than the average for the sector, and 17.5% higher conversion rates.

Reward loyalty 

A lot of retailers offer big incentives for consumers to make their initial purchase, but few offer any beyond that experience. So, think about extra benefits you can offer that will inspire loyalty, such as free delivery.

Demonstrate empathy 

Shoppers want retailers to show empathy during these hard times and are actively seeking out brands with views aligned with theirs. Braze found that shoppers are 1.7 times more likely to purchase from brands that successfully demonstrate human communication. 

This is particularly important to millennials; 41% said they are likely or extremely likely to shun a brand if their customer or staff responses during the pandemic doesn’t align with what they feel is important. 

The key here is to be genuine, as shoppers can sniff out faux empathy. Nike is a good example here: its ‘Play for the World’ campaign reinforced the message that we must do our bit and play inside. Its ad showed images and videos of people, including top athletes, working out at home, to inspire others to do the same.

The Delta Group can help you deliver engaging, targeted multi-channel campaigns to help you win back lockdown shoppers, with our solutions fully tailored to your unique requirements. Get in touch today to find out more.