The reopening of retail stores across the country will be a massive boost for the economy, with retail experts claiming over 100,000 people hit the streets of Dublin for some retail therapy on Monday.
While consumer confidence hit a record low in April we are seeing some signs of a bounceback in May which will hopefully continue as restrictions are eased further.
As we’re forced to move from an experiential to a transactional retail model, what can we expect?
- Retailers will need to adapt to consumers’ changing attitudes and behaviours as they demand a safer shopping environment. Almost 5,000 people booked appointments for Arnotts and Brown Thomas so demand is there if customers are reassured.
- Trust in brands will play a massive role in the consumers choice of retailer and shopping destination. Retailers that invest time to understand customer sentiment and emotions and plan accordingly, will have a better chance of success.
How can retailers react?
With shopping experiences changing, retailers will look to other touchpoints to reinforce their connections with customers.
- Retailers will look at adaptive marketing strategies. Emotion is more important than ever in advertising. According to Unruly happiness and inspiration work well right now, making a difference in a time where negative messages are prevalent. 49% of consumers are also expecting ads to make them feel warm or happy.
- Creating a more engaging online proposition — Siopaella specialise in high end fashion with four Dublin stores. Since the lockdown they started Instagram Live videos with at least 400+ people watching every night. As the shops reopen they will continue their social strategy and build on the new audience created especially with restrictions in store.
- Creating virtual / masterclass events is set to increase to help consumers stay connected with the products they love and new offerings.
- Finally the introduction of technology in store will help provide the trust and reassurance customers need to feel safe as they shop. This can range from store number monitoring systems to click and collect options and apps that will let you try on products virtually.
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Source: KBC Consumer Sentiment, Unruly