Online shopping provided a lifeline for retailers and consumers alike during a string of Covid lockdowns. But as restrictions ease, consumers are keen to rediscover the unique experiences that only physical in-store shopping can offer.
Research by retail and hospitality software provider Fourth reveals that 31% of retailers believe that the brands willing and able to diversify and differentiate the in-store experience will be ahead of the pack this year.
The research is included in Fourth’s most recent whitepaper: Post-pandemic retail: Retail leaders’ plans and predictions for the industry, which considers the future landscape for bricks-and-mortar retailers.
For example, 29% of the UK retail leaders questioned said that they believed a key challenge post-pandemic would be how to attract shoppers back into physical stores. Other challenges include unpredictable consumer demand (27%), competition from online retail (26%), and Covid safety concerns (26%).
One of the ways physical retailers can compete with their online counterparts is by offering a more premium in-store experience. Almost four in ten (39%) of those questioned plan to do this by reducing offers, while another 35% feel that greater brand interaction can be achieved in-store by blending physical and online consumer experiences.
These findings prove wrong the predictions that physical retail will diminish to make way for an online shopping experience. Instead, retailers are showing a desire to focus on bricks-and-mortar retail and make it more appealing to shoppers.
Alongside plans to create a more premium in-store experience, retailers will also be working hard to boost loyalty among in-store shoppers. They plan to do this through apps and technology (33%), or more frequent sales and in-store only offers (32%). Nearly half (47%) of larger retailers intend to expand their product range as a way to compete with online offerings and remain competitive.
Speaking about the research, Sebastien Sepierre, EMEA managing director at Fourth said that some retailers “expected to completely reinvent the in-store experience to offer something customers simply can’t get online.”
He continued: “We can expect to see an increase in pop-up retail spaces and more collaborative shop-in-shop concepts offering unique and immersive elements.”
If you’re looking for ways to reinvent the retail experience for your customers and create a more premium in-store experience, Delta can help. Get in touch with our friendly team today: firstname.lastname@example.org