The covid-19 pandemic has had a monumental impact on most areas of society, none more so than the retail sector. It’s no secret that the ‘high street’ as a concept has been gong through a transition period over the last decade, as people’s shopping habits have changed with the rise of internet shopping and alternative forms of purchasing power.
It’s difficult to make predictions about anything at the moment, as companies and consumers get to grips with the changing landscape, but on a basic human level, the opportunity for reenergised face-to-face selling and tangible customer experiences is there to grasp for retailers.
With the profound restrictions applied to the way we all interact and socialise with each other this year, there’s space for a rebound back to more physical shopping experiences when vaccines roll out in the UK and we start to move towards ‘normal’.
Having a feeling of freedom back could play into retailers’ hands and it’s a great opportunity to create more attractive, accommodating shopping spaces for people to enjoy life in again. It’s difficult right now with social distancing and face masks to make something completely comfortable and relaxed, but high street shops are still doing a fantastic job in the circumstances to offer good customer experiences.
Attractive shopping spaces are about giving people the time, space and comfort to make good purchasing decisions and encouraging them to want to spend time in your retail space. This can be done with some smart design and focus on maximizing the environment to be as enjoyable as possible. Here at SpaceFit, we have a vast amount of experience in retail fit-outs and can help to make your shopping space work for you and your customers.
Hopefully, when shoppers won’t have to be as cautious, shops can take the chance to invest in customer service, which means using your staff to impart knowledge, make customers comfortable and welcome them back. It’s impossible to offer that extra human touch that can be the difference between browsing and a sale.
Shops are social spaces and it can never be underestimated how much they can become a fixture in a local community and offer a friendly face and a daily chat to people that might not speak to others that day. Retail also has a social responsibility if it wants to embrace that and take it on, covid-19 has created a stark picture of how much we rely on and enjoy being around other people in society!
With this in mind, being able to offer a genuinely enjoyable customer experience will be even more important than ever and perhaps more desired than ever before. Discount days, pop-ups, exclusive lock-ins are all ways to reward loyalty, encourage new shoppers and inject some fun and familiarity into your retail offering.
We’ve all learnt that nothing can substitute for tangible, face-to-face experiences this year, so the retail sector needs to take this sentiment and run with it, offering something that internet shopping never can – human connection and tangible experiences!