The pandemic has changed the way we lead our lives in more ways than one. It has also brought about some significant changes in the retail world. Thriving in this post-pandemic world will require retailers to modify how they maintain their stores and retain customers. After going through times of uncertainty, customer behaviour and patterns have changed. Stores must now evolve to meet new expectations of customers, that are based on convenience, health and safety. Retailers also need to find ways of appealing to a changed audience, to enhance customer demand and maintain their position in the current scenario. Whether it's lowering costs, reorganising stores, or adhering to aggressive sustainability commitments, adopting a smart approach to retail store remodeling is vital in this new era.
Generally, for businesses, change is necessary, and remodelling is at the core of that change, as it excites, invigorates and revitalises customers, by levelling up the energy of a retail store. When a project involves a drastic alteration of a store, it breathes new life into it, while also giving off a whole new look and feel to the retail store. Hence, it's crucial now to engage customers in compelling and meaningful ways via remodelling.
Why is there a need to remodel current store looks?
The new normal is all about transformation, because what a business looks like could be significantly different now, in comparison to pre-pandemic times. Retailers must reassess their formats and how their spaces are utilised - from partnering with other brands to offer new services to enabling socially distanced interactions between associates and customers. Physical retail success depends on retailers' abilities to provide both unique and convenient experiences. For instance, use hyper-localisation to create pop-up experiences or use data-driven practices to ease and hasten store operations. Also, the most important thing is to tell a story in your store and utilise all building features to influence shopping behaviour.
Retail Best Practices for Phygital & Experiential Retailing
Phygital marketing works to give shoppers a completely seamless experience. Moreover, phygital retail accelerates consumer experiences and helps stores integrate their physical and digital marketing efforts easily, for more opportunities to sell their products and boost sales.
Retail businesses have been keen to jump on the phygital bandwagon. To attract shoppers to visit a physical store, the store must offer an extraordinary experience. Hence, the physical store becomes an amusement park of sensory and digital experiences that showcase the brand and its products with a phygital strategy. Retailers should design exclusive offerings to entice customers and visitors to their stores, to increase sales. There are beneficial ways to make use of phygital marketing:
- Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms have made it convenient for small vendors to add a digital storefront to their brick-and-mortar business. Social media enables stores to promote special deals, run ad campaigns, or create customer loyalty programs. Connect digitally with your audience by rewarding customers who engage with your brand on social media. It is also possible to utilise social media to promote opt-in offers where customers can comment on a post offering a special deal and later pick it up in-store. This is another way of blending physical and digital marketing.
- Pop-Up Stores: Creating a pop-up store is another way of adding a physical experience to your product offering if you run an online business. Online vendors with a stand at local markets are examples of entry-level phygital marketing. For easy execution, using customer data from your online business could help you identify loyal customers and set up a pop-up shop nearby.
- Google My Business: It offers numerous ways to engage with customers and promote businesses. You can promote special deals, upload store images and even advertise. Customers can connect by messaging, calling or leaving reviews. You can also access essential data on how people interact with your listing, from your business listing – information that can help you improve your physical store and listing. Indeed, even small-scale steps to get more phygital are a marketing investment.
Experiential retail is still relevant as everyone is craving everyday face-to-face interactions and experiences beyond traditional ones. Many retailers have been doing experimental retail for years, and they've gotten good at it! Most feature attractive products, all prominently displayed in beautiful arrangements to entice customers to stop and look.
Experiential retail exists as a counterbalance to the widespread availability of e-commerce stores, which means shopping in a physical store is no longer a necessity. However, displaying physical stores as essential stores can pay off. A significant way to do that is through personalisation. The initial step is to collect customer data at different touchpoints, both online and in the store. Later, you can use this data to create personalised customer experiences — think of attractive offers and innovative in-store experiences tailored to specific regions, stores and individuals.
Get Inspired by Global Firms:
- L'Occitane's, an international retailer, has always encouraged shoppers to experience their range of skincare, body care and fragrance products in-store. Still, with their latest flagship concept in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre, they have taken the experiential component of the physical store to a whole new level by elevating the store experience, thus deepening excitement and engagement with customers.
- Walgreens Boots Alliance and TD Bank: While from different ends of the retail spectrum, the pharmacy giant and perennial banking company both have an eye on increasing convenience without sacrificing their business. COVID-19 wasn't a disruptor to this, but an accelerator. With advancements in digital technology taking place alongside the changing of physical store operations, the requirement of convenience was aptly addressed.
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