Will We Ever Get the In-Store Experience Back?

During the COVID-19 pandemic so far, we have lost people, connections, our sense of safety and security, and many of the everyday systems and activities we took for granted.

One such activity is the in-store experience. For the past several years, we’ve put a huge emphasis on building a great experience for the consumer in-store. This experience was what differentiated e-commerce from bricks-and-mortar stores and kept customers back, versus going to the competition.

In the COVID-19 climate, the in-store experience is clinical. It’s all about safety. The new consumer experience is arrows on the floor telling shoppers which way to push their carts down the aisle. Standing in a line-up outside of the store waiting to go in. Encouraging people to keep moving, versus lingering and browsing.

There was so much emphasis on building an experience before, and now it is gone.

Or… is it?

Yes, the way we had done things before is certainly no longer the same — there is no denying that.

But as we get further into this pandemic, we must remember to ADAPT.

It’s like when you first learn to drive a car. You’re ultra-focused on the lines on the road, the signs, and the rules because it is all new to you. Once you get use to driving though, it becomes second nature, something you automatically do, and you get to see the scenery again. 

Are we in the stage of first getting our license and getting used to the safety navigations through these changes? Will they become second nature so we can enjoy the experience again?

Let’s also remember what is important to the consumer, because that will drive the experience.

Retail Customer Experience recently shared this article outlining the shifted consumer mindset.

Changed paradigms include:

  • Wanting to feel like they and their loved ones are protected.
  • Wanting to feel like everyone is protected – including retail staff.
  • Supporting retailers and brands that understand how they want to shop, such as by offering BOPIS or home delivery.
  • Making fewer trips and wanting to be certain that items will be in stock when they do come to the store. (We can also take this further by using extra support to make certain that shelves are kept stocked.)
  • Taking time to show appreciation for customers who frequent your location.

Customers will remember the retailers and brands that stood out during this crisis. By focusing on what we can control, versus what we cannot, we can transition to a different way of managing our businesses.

We can ADAPT to our changing environment.

Do you think we will ever get back to providing an experience to the consumer again in the store? Let us know on social media. Storesupport Canada is on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn. Stay tuned for an announcement about what Storesupport is doing to ADAPT. As always, we are here to support brands and retailers in-store, online, with curbside pickup, delivery, and beyond. Learn more about our solutions by calling 1-877-421-5081 or visiting www.storesupport.ca.

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