What do you think the consumer retail economy will look like going forward? The last two years have been chaotic. While it seems as though we’re getting back to normal, experts talk about COVID mutating and making small comebacks in future years.
What your customers think matters most. They determine your profitability, and ultimately, whether or not your company continues to exist.
So what do customers want from retail stores? Take a quick look at what research about their actions says they want:
- Two Definite Trends
For starters, consumers want e-commerce availability and a focus on hygiene. 17% of consumers have moved away from their primary store because of the lack of focus on both. Additionally, they also want buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and grocery delivery. The former is up by 28% year-over-year, while the latter is up an astounding 57% over the same timeframe. All this data, by the way, comes from the venerable McKinsey.
- How Brands Make Themselves Look Bad
Inspire PR Group performed a survey to see what turns consumers off from brands. Their research, as published at Kearney, found that staying open, lack of safety awareness, employee treatment, no discounts, and an unhealthy environment were the leading reasons consumers stayed away from certain brands.
COVID itself has caused enough havoc. Avoid mistakes like those so you don’t make this situation any harder than it has to be.
- Invest in Omnichannel Marketing
You’ve heard us talk about the importance of omnichannel marketing on this blog before. Basically, the vast majority of retailers aren’t doing it. But all the market leaders are.
The aforementioned McKinsey article again emphasizes the importance of omnichannel marketing. Clearly, COVID has forced consumers towards more digital experiences. So, they don’t need an entirely different experience that confuses them. Rather, they need a consistent experience across all channels that engages them so they can interact with your brand in the way they like most.
McKinsey is so convinced by this that they recommend “doubling down” on digital marketing investment. And the article at Kearney agrees.
- Streamline In-Store Shopping Experiences
Because consumers really don’t want to spend any more time in your store than they have to, it’s important to make their shopping trip as quick and painless as possible. This means your co-workers out on the floor have become more important than ever.
Unfortunately, while many retailers have talked about their people being the key to success, few have turned that into action. But now, the article at Kearney asserts, action is imperative. They recommend you use existing people who already understand your products, processes, and culture to increase customer satisfaction and to upsell where it makes sense.
By offering some form of contactless shopping, with the assistance of one of your co-workers, you can create a unique (and helpful) experience that delights your customers.
The bottom line to all this is that you have to adjust to your customers’ expectations. Some high-level trends are clear. To make the most of the new market, you’ll have to work out the details. Fortunately, you have plenty of opportunity to grow your market share.
Still have questions about how you can meet customers’ expectations? Contact Pollock Orora today, and we’ll help you make SOLVED happen in your company.