Post-Pandemic Retailing: What Retailers Should Expect

Goals

The COVID-19 crisis is expected to create permanent shifts in consumer behavior. The goal is to provide information on what retailers should do in order to attract consumers in their stores after the crisis will end.

Early Findings

  • After the crisis will end, consumers will show preference to clean and sanitized stores. Shopkeepers in China set up dispensers for hand sanitizer in their stores, after they re-opened. Products related to health and wellness will emerge stronger and will become part of the daily life of the consumers.
  • In addition, the retailers that will invest in virtual experiences will have a more competitive advantage. However, those will have to be no-touch customer experiences with a focus on hygiene.
  • To encourage spending, businesses could offer discounts or gifts to customers upon reopening in order to attract them in their stores. Especially, if consumers will be more familiar to lower online prices and free delivery.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly accelerating the transition to digital commerce. Grocery delivery platforms such as Instacart and Shipt are seeing an increasing demand, which is driven by new customers who are trying online grocery shopping for the first time. Those grocery buyers most probably will convert their way of shopping permanently. Therefore, if a retailer is not present online, it is highly recommended launching an online shop, otherwise this might have an impact on its future sales.
  • Another thing that might occur is consumers looking for retailers that have traceable-to-source supply chain. In that case, consumers can see how and where their food or other goods were produced and transported. It is expected that this will have a big impact on labeling as well.
  • Home delivery will become an important aspect of the business. Retailers who have been able to catch up on this transition will face fewer problems. This initiative might attract more the elderly consumers, since they are not used to shop online and are looking for different solutions.
  • Retailers should inform their customers about all the measures they have taken to ensure a safe shopping experience. This could be a note written outside their stores or short announcements, while the client is inside the store. Communication through social media about this issue, might also encourage consumers to visit their stores.

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