The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a boon for ecommerce and third party delivery services. However, this proved to be a disaster for brick and mortar retail. As people stayed home for their safety and health, businesses chose the online way to reach out to their potential customers.
But as the restrictions are being lifted and parts of the world are opening up, physical retail is experiencing bright spots.
According to a recent survey, consumers are craving opportunities to shop in person. 32% of brands planned to establish or expand their use of pop-up and in-person experiences in 2022. 31% of brands planned on establishing or expanding their physical retail footprint.
The National Retail Federation predicts that more than 72% of U.S. retail sales will still happen in-store in 2024.
How To Transition Back from Ecommerce to Physical Retail
Now that restrictions have lessened and consumers are ready to do in-person shopping, what does the future hold for your business in 2022? Are people going to shop from a brick and mortar retail rather than online?
Well, the answer might be a big yes because people are craving freedom. They want to go out of their home after being stuck in for so long. So here are a few ways to transition back to physical retail.
Have you ever shopped online but chose to pick up the stuff from the store? During the pandemic, physical retailers engage deeper with their customers through omnichannel strategies.
When it was becoming increasingly difficult to shop in person, businesses offered their customers an opportunity to shop online but still come out to collect their stuff. This eases the shopping experience for the customers and give businesses an opportunity to take over the digital space and reach out to a wide customer base.
So instead of just focusing on selling their products, companies were building relationships with their audience. Companies used several communication channels such as the following to ensure that their potential audience has an access to their message.
- Messenger chatbots
- Social media
- SMS and Whatsapp
Interactive Customer Experience
With the surge of COVID-19 in 2020, retailers were forced to close their doors. While initially, they chose to spend their funds on acquiring customers through various digital channels such as Google, Facebook and Instagram, the rising digital costs have forced them to revive in-store experience for the customers.
With physical stores making a comeback, larger retailers are taking advantage of the situation and are creating a one-of-a-kind experience for their in-store customers.
As a business owner, you need to take some meaningful actions to make in-store experience interesting, convenient, and interactive for your customers. How about using just a small space in the storefront and making a captivating display to impress the shoppers?
- Use seasonal reed diffusers to play with your customer’s senses in high-traffic areas of the shop
- Use the window area for a festival display
- Connect with a local artist to create a photo-op
- Promote your business social media account with a QR code next to the display
- Display some limited time seasons goods with lights to grab some eyeballs
From Digital to Physical
As more and more people are opting to shop in person instead of online, businesses are looking for the best ways to acquire customers. According to an informal survey conducted on social media, the chance to go shopping in person again was found on numerous peoples’ wish lists.
Businesses can look forward to personalizing their approach to create meaningful connections with their customers.
- Strategic Promotions
Businesses can choose to send a QR code with details of discounts, sales or promotion, based on the customer’s previous shopping habit. These promotions can be availed at the nearest store, making it easier for the consumer to complete the purchase.
Alternatively, businesses can also place QR codes throughout the stores for the customers to scan. When scanned, these QR codes give consumers the opportunity to shop and get the product delivered directly to their homes.
- Easy Pickups
Not everyone is comfortable standing in long queues at the register, but they don’t want to wait for multiple days for their order to arrive. This is when businesses can offer them the comfort of shopping online along with the convenience of in-store pickups.
At the end of the day, all you want is to sell your products. Offering the convenience of online and physical experience to the customer is a perfect way to transition back to physical retail without losing your customers.
So as more and more people flock back to brick and mortar shops, businesses need to be prepared to attract, communicate, relate and retain their existing and new customers successfully.