Physical retail isn’t actually dying. It’s just changing. We live in a dynamic digital age, and the retail-store experience has changed significantly over the years. In fact, the overall shopping experience was shifting long before Covid-19 completely transformed the way that people shop.
From long lines, to BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store), to contactless options in the checkout line, customer shopping patterns today are much different than they were twenty years ago. And those patterns saw a seismic shift the past year alone, and many of these changes are here to stay.
The future of retail is here- and brick-and-mortar store is still a vital part of the customer shopping experience. The accelerated evolution of retail communication demands agility and innovation from retail brands everywhere.
We understand how the retail business works, and we know (first-hand) how frustrating it can be to align organizations in order to drive change and stay nimble. We’ve learned that in order for stores to execute better, save time and money, and create great customer experiences, we have to start with great communication.
How can retail communications improve customer experience? First, you have to transform the way your frontline employees operate, execute and engage.
Here are a few ways that you can align your teams and improve the shopper experience.
2020 was a black elephant year, Kate Ancketill, CEO of the consultancy GDR Creative Intelligence told NRF last week. “The cataclysm we’ve all lived through was entirely predictable. … We knew it was coming, we just didn’t like talking about it.”
The pandemic and lockdowns changed consumer behavior more in the last five months than in the last five years—or even ten, Retailers have scrambled—and some have done an amazing job of reacting to switches in shopping behavior. Many of these behavioral changes are here to stay.
“The cataclysm has accelerated all the things we in retail knew had to happen anyway,” Ancketill said.
Retailers must have the courage to accept what’s gone forever and continue to adapt to trends that will accelerate post-pandemic: the challenge of globalization, the de-leveraging of physical retail and the implications of the increasingly smart city.
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