Recently revised National Retail Federation forecast for higher retail growth in 2021 confirms one thing: The resurgence and revival of brick-and-mortar stores is certain. It is important that all retailers ensure that their omnichannel experiences are excellent.
Shoppers will be unable to tolerate mistakes or missteps as they move between channels, devices, and locations in a post-lockdown spending boom. It is crucial to streamline all steps of the shopping journey, from the last mile to the final mile. Every store must be ready to fulfill online orders.
Good news: Many retailers are improving their customer experiences. More than half of the retail professionals who were surveyed said that the pandemic has helped accelerate new technology-related product launches in their businesses. A large portion of technology investments in retailers are directed at improving their omnichannel presence. If you want to make technology more useful for your store or any other business like real estate business, check out real estate plugin options here for great help!
Here are four priorities that I believe retailers should focus on to support the store’s revival.
- Start the transition to in-season planning as soon as possible. Inventory positions and store assortments must be much more flexible than they were 18 month ago. In-season planning allows retailers to avoid the problems of pre-season planning. This includes not being able to react quickly to changes in market or customer behavior and not having visibility into inventory demand once the season starts.
- Be a store fulfillment expert. It’s time to assess every store fulfillment service, and make sure it is operating at peak efficiency. This will allow you to meet (heightened) consumer expectations of a return to shopping in stores.
- Review and update pricing strategies. Inflation continues to rise, so price and promotion strategies that are thoughtful can drive store traffic and differentiate your business. Promotions can also encourage cross-channel behavior that often leads to larger basket sizes.
- Keep investing in store experiences. While speed to market is important, retailers should not be afraid to experiment with new experiences. Pop-up shops and pilot programs can help them understand the preferences of shoppers in their respective regions. These experiences can help remind shoppers why shopping in-store is better than online.
The role of the shop will change as customers return. Retailers that invest in tools to help them adapt and react will be better positioned to keep these shoppers coming back.
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Supermarket shoppers are returning to stores as BOPIS Fades
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, all retailers and especially supermarket operators have devoted the majority of their resources to helping shoppers who were unable to visit stores due to safety concerns. They also upgraded their digital presence and installed new systems for pickup and delivery. The success of supermarket retailers will depend on their ability to balance the focus on online shopping with in-store experiences. This is because shoppers are making more purchases online than ever before.
ChaseDesign conducted a recent buy online, pick-up in-store survey (BOPIS). It revealed that although 50 percent of grocery shoppers used BOPIS in the aftermath of the pandemics, only half of them will continue to use it in the future. Many people view BOPIS programs, which allow customers to buy items online and pick them up at the store, as restricting the purchasing experience. Shoppers want to have control. 54 percent prefer to pick up items in person.
Traditional supermarkets know that online shoppers often skip the most profitable categories because they are concerned about freshness and selection. BOPIS shoppers will not buy seafood or meat, while nearly half won’t purchase dairy, produce, or frozen products. About 35% won’t order deli goods or bakery items, and 31% won’t purchase personal or healthcare care items.
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According to the survey, shoppers also experienced frustration with BOPIS. They cited product availability (i.e. out-of stock), quality of products selected, missing items from their orders, long wait times and inability to add any last-minute items among the top issues they faced. BOPIS is also affected by long wait times. 40% of respondents reported waiting for orders to be processed within 10 to 15 minutes.
Customers are also having a difficult time with home delivery, as high costs are the top reason. Other reasons that people discontinue home delivery include incorrect or missing items, poor quality items, difficult to use coupons and secure discounts, as well as products arriving damaged.
According to the survey, Walmart provides the best customer experience for BOPIS customers. Target is close behind. The top 10 include Costco, Walgreens and Walgreens as well as Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Sam’s Clubs, Publix, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens, Walgreens Walgreens/Safeway
To make it easier for customers to pick up or deliver items, retailers should improve their mobile apps. The survey found that 95% of shoppers rely on mobile apps to create lists, check specials, and arrange pickup and delivery times.
Retailers must address the importance of having a strong BOPIS offer and correct the many issues in their program. Retailers who succeed will focus equally on providing a positive and engaging shopping experience to their customers, and not just fix the problems in BOPIS. The store still accounts for more than 85 percent retail sales.
ChaseDesign conducted an online survey among 1,000 consumers aged 18 to 54 who order groceries online for pickup at the curbside or home delivery. The primary and secondary shoppers in the household were identified.