How can Brick-and-Mortar Retail Retain Customers in the Pandemic?
The pre-Christmas period, traditionally a time of high sales for retailers, is again overshadowed by Corona this year. Many customers are unsettled and shy away from going to the city centers. However, retailers can still delight customers with functioning omnichannel solutions, an attractive presentation of goods and an optimized display. Checkpoint Systems, a one-stop store for technologically advanced retail solutions, offers tips on how to do this.
Modern technologies are helping retailers to mitigate some of the current pandemic's vagaries and offer their customers an engaging shopping experience in spite of everything. The shift to online and omnichannel is one of those steps that already mitigated some of the potential loss last holiday season. Corona has accelerated its digital transformation.
BOPIS, or "buy online pick up in store," proved particularly effective as an omnichannel approach during the recent pandemic winter. McKinsey also predicted that retailers using a flexible omnichannel approach would recover fastest from the pandemic. In the meantime, most companies have adapted to the new reality and are using modern technologies.
Hybrid Approaches are Essential for Survival
The prerequisite for a functioning omnichannel approach is an accurate inventory overview. Only then can retailers offer the right product at the right place at the right time. This is made possible by technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID). Checkpoint Systems has developed the HALO platform for this purpose, an RFID solution that makes reordering easier, faster and more efficient.
For example, it makes it possible to track inventory from the factory to the store, so retailers know exactly where their stock is and when it will arrive. This saves retailers time, improves the customer shopping experience and increases sales. Carefully crafted omnichannel strategies can ensure retailers better understand their customers' needs, offer them the right products, and create greater customer loyalty over the long term. A consistent brand experience - online and offline - is crucial here.
Open Presentation of Goods for More Sales
Customers who prefer to shop on-site rather than online want to put the products they need in their shopping carts and proceed to the checkout as quickly as possible, especially in the current climate. An open merchandise display is helpful here. Instead of having to wait for an employee to remove secured merchandise from a cabinet, customers can put what they want directly into the cart.
This is not only more practical, but also demonstrably promotes sales through impulse buying. At the same time, the open presentation of goods relieves the store staff, who have more time for advice - an important point, especially now, to welcome uncertain customers and address them personally.
Modern merchandise security solutions enable such open display of goods. Checkpoint Systems' Alpha High-Theft Solutions can be used to protect clothing, electronics, jewelry or alcohol, for example, without the need for additional security personnel. Alpha High-Theft Solutions also act as a visual deterrent to potential thieves.
Retailers thus protect their margins and honest customers benefit from increased merchandise availability - because everything that should be in the store according to inventory is still there due to the reduced chance of theft. Clear loss prevention strategies are particularly important in times of crisis, as experience has shown that shoplifting increases in these periods.
Studies on the global recession of 2008 / 2009 show that shoplifting increases as unemployment rises and resources become scarcer. Mandatory masks, which lead to increased anonymity when shopping, also encourage potential thieves.
Properly Positioned Displays and Well-Stocked Shelves
The design and layout of a brick-and-mortar store are also critical to the customer experience. All existing displays should be properly positioned and all shelves well stocked. After all, a product can only be sold if it is visible in the store. Customers who remove products and put them back on the shelf elsewhere can ensure that the in-store display is no longer appealing to potential buyers.
"Display Compliance" is a simple RFID application from Checkpoint Systems that scans the display and compares it to the original shelf plan. This saves time by quickly determining if the display is correctly positioned and the shelves are appropriately stocked. And RFID technology also allows sales staff to easily locate any item in stock. The time saved can be used for consultations with customers. Consumers thus benefit from an attractive display and from staff who can provide help and advice if they have any questions.