How to master Retail after COVID-19

Nouran Disuky
Copywriter at - Former Business Developer
March 3, 2021
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The world is going through an extraordinary crisis due to the COVID-19 epidemic. It has had a major impact on the physical retail sector as some stores have been forced to remain closed. It has already become clear that retail will take on a different form once the pandemic is over. The retail sector will have to act fast and emerge or else it will cease to exist.

Retailers should be considering the effect of these massive changes on the customer and the customer relationship management. They should be able to maintain and develop the customer's trust and loyalty in their brand, products, and services. Most importantly, they have to be able to exceed expectations and recover the customer experience in the future. 

According to ABeam Consulting, retail businesses that handle food and daily necessities such as supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores have remained in better condition while other nonessential stores have stagnated.

Would Physical Retail Still Win?

“The new normal” has motivated physical stores to innovate. They are no longer only seen as distribution centers, but customers also become accustomed to a level of in-store experience, which online retailers cannot replicate. 

There are two types of consumers: those who seek immediate purchase and those who want an experience beyond the purchase. 

According to a report by Goldman Sachs, only two types of retailers will survive in the retail industry; online retailers capable of delivering in less than an hour such as Amazon or Alibaba, and physical retailers who are capable of creating an unbeatable in-store shopping experience.

According to the State of Retail, 88% of consumers say they are eager to purchase when the store employees help or recommend products or services to them. Customer service is imperative to satisfy the needs of those shopping in-store. Most customers who are not assisted by an employee leave the store without buying. 

Is Customer Experience The Solution?

The pandemic emphasized the importance of connection, whether it is person to person or brand to consumer. Most customers strive for interaction and involvement during shopping. They are now expecting a one-of-a-kind, rewarding retail experience, and to provide this, businesses must change their approach to CRM, understanding that it is a crucial point of purchase element. 

Retailers and brands should take this opportunity by offering customers an educative and engaging experience inside the store for an informed and assured buying decision. This encourages retailers of all sizes to make physical stores their flagship channel.

The trend is happening with global retailers like IKEA; setting up experience centers for customers to provide a more inclusive purchase experience not only to enable touch and feel.

We Can Help

To effectively shape customer behavior, businesses need to understand more about them than just their names and email addresses. Leveraging richer data, including behavior, location, and purchase history will guarantee that they can provide the best possible experience to each and every customer at every touchpoint. 

Providing a system that understands customers. A real-time targeting where you can know who is attracted to your store and why. IoT sensors that collect data, drive maximum sales, save unparalleled costs, and unlock true value inventory. Using demographic segmentation (gender and age) and considering factors such as weather, store location, time of day, day of the week, events, etc. in order to decide what product to promote and when. 

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