Responding to Merchandising in Post COVID-19

Goals

Retail stores will need to respond to consumer behavior in the post-COVID-19 era. A recent retail survey showed that 76% of consumers have already altered the way they shop. Although recent surveys are focusing on food and non-perishable items in grocery stores, COVID 19 has made a lasting impact on how customers inside retail locations behave.

Early Findings

TOP STRATEGIES FOR MERCHANDISING

Connect Digital and In-Store Experiences

  • As shopping online grows, there is also an opportunity for retailers to strengthen the in-store experience that shoppers have. An escalating 60% of consumers are shopping online due to personal safety.
  • Retailers will need to glean from how online shopping has increased brand awareness before a customer steps into the store; understanding how technology influences the entire customer journey. Brands who ramp up on digital strategies now such as buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) orders.
  • A retailer's digital presence will be key before the shopper sets foot in the store.
  • Consumers, especially Millennials, are keen to shop online, rather than in stores.

Communicate Safety and Joy in the Ailes

  • Retailers should communicate to customers with frequency about measures taken to ensure a safe shopping experience, and continue with hygienic cleaning and ensure signage is communicating that promise. Stores will also want to ensure all credit card terminals and self-check-out stations are in working order, as consumers are using less cash and refraining from hands-on transactions.
  • Retailers will still want to continue or develop "no-touch customer experiences with an emphasis on hygiene.” This would include bulk bin offerings of food or other products.
  • As customers want to spend less time in the aisles, one strategy would be to stocking related items next to one another so that customers can find products easily and quickly. In-store merchandising may include: placing towels next to hand sanitizer or bleach.
  • Shoppers, Millenials and Gen-Z shoppers, especially should try to create "memorable experiences to keep customers coming through the door." People in this demographic will want to brag and share their experience in the store with their online followers.
  • Addressing awareness of their digital shoppers, retailers should provide more instore signage for the location of products advertised online.


Promoting Private Label Brands

  • Some retailers will be able to build trust by selling more of their own private labeled brands, which strengthens customer brand loyalty. Retailers can also curate private brand assortments to simplify the shopping experience.
  • Although it is not a merchandising strategy, and more of a product offering, private label brands can help attract shoppers while stretching consumer dollars.
  • Cross merchandising brands have clues as to how retailers might re-position themselves, regardless if they carry private-label products.

Proposed next steps:

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