With the increase in popularity of online shopping and the changing habits of consumers who have been in lockdown for four months, this is the most challenging time that retailers have ever faced. The pandemic has forced innovation in the sector at an unprecedented pace, resulting in some exciting success stories.
Now, the customer wants to spend as little time as possible in the store, making contactless payments a must, as well as very clear sunlight readable lcd signage to ensure any journeys are easy to navigate.
To achieve this challenging goal, technology is key. Compliance with legal regulations enforcing capacity limitations is made simpler by using cameras, sensors and digital solutions to manage footfall and traffic flow. These are also being used to communicate the differing ways a retailer is making the in-store experience more efficient.
Every journey in-store should end with a seamless, contactless experience, based on a smart queue management system and self-check kiosks. However, Click and Collect is booming – allowing consumers to order online to guarantee purchase before heading into the store to pick up an item.
This is set to increase beyond the hardware and grocery stores to include all types of retailers, so we’re seeing spaces which are being reconfigured to communicate and facilitate this for a quicker transaction.
Creating experiential retail
While many brands have announced store closures, a few are using this reduction in real estate to expand the footprints of their stores, giving flagship locations an experiential focus. Retailers are creating bigger spaces where they can build a stronger relationship with their customers, making them feel safe and ensuring the store is in line with new government regulations.
Creating connection through digital
Big high brightness LCD or video wall screens display, way finders and lift and learn spaces will help the customer enjoy the experience without direct contact with an employee. Fitting rooms will utilise AR, algorithms and powerful data lakes to combine data from the shop including stock and availability information to enable a more high-tech experience than ever before. This can also be personalised for the customer to reflect activity on their social media, or even web browsing or purchase history with the website.
Focussing on the future
Most of the new concepts established high brightness digital signage,lcd display,during the last month (digital screens with handheld sanitisers, thermal cameras, mask recognition, etc.) are great to cover an imminent demand. But are these requirements here to stay and how can they benefit your business in the long term?
With all these systems in place, a massive amount of data will be collected. Therefore, there has never been a better opportunity for the retailer to understand customer behaviors by applying intelligence to improve customer loyalty and ultimately, secure the business with a more robust plan for the future.
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