Over the last year, the retail landscape quickly shifted towards a predominantly digital space.
The ongoing restrictions and prolonged lockdowns forced businesses to adopt innovative technologies and focus on their e-commerce presence.
But does this mean the end for traditional brick-and-mortar stores?
The answer is no.
In this blog, we explore why physical stores will continue to play an important role in the world of post-pandemic retail.
Human Interaction Cannot be Replaced
Although the online experience offers convenience, it can’t replace the physical interactions that occur between employees and customers in brick-and-mortar shops.
When consumers leverage the physical storefront, whether to pick up an online purchase or to shop in-store, employees can engage with individual customers, offer a personalized experience, and upsell to increase profitability.
A report from PwC surveyed 15,000 retail customers from 12 countries. Among the people surveyed, 73% said that customer experience was an important factor in their purchasing decisions. The report also indicated that customers wanted retailers to use technology to support the experience of human interactions in-store.
Post-pandemic, the challenge will be in restoring customer confidence in the ability of retailers to provide a safe environment for customers to shop in.
However, one thing is clear. Technology is simply an enabler for good customer experience, it’s not meant to replace the in-store experience.
Physical Stores Help Reduce Costs for Retailers
During the pandemic, we saw the surge in online shopping cause significant delays in shipping and delivering packages to customers.
Delivery costs have been on the rise as retailers and logistic companies had to increase resources in supply chains such as hiring more workers and working overtime to manage fulfillment.
However, customers want a variety of delivery options that are fast and inexpensive.
Research from Canada Post shows that 46% of online shoppers who abandon their shopping carts do so because of the cost of shipping.
Online shoppers are also 15-40% more likely to return what they purchase online but are only 5-10% more likely to return what they purchase in-store.
Physical stores help reduce the cost of returns for retailers by reducing the transportation and shipping fees. Consumers prefer to return items in-store as well because they can find the right product faster.
The Future of Retail Post-Pandemic
There’s no doubt that consumer preferences have changed since the start of the pandemic.
It’s important to remember that creativity and innovation will result in the successful redefining of the brick-and-mortar experience and the retail industry as a whole.
This is where we come in.
At Storesupport, not only can we help you with your e-commerce solutions, we can also help you enhance your in-store presence with our suite of merchandising solutions, brand ambassadors, retail support, and more.
Learn more about how you can leverage Storesupport by calling 1-877-421-5081 or visiting www.storesupport.ca.« Back to Blog