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Enabling the New Normal: Creating New Customer Journeys
How customers respond to the new normal will be carefully monitored by the retail sector. Early indications from countries where lockdown conditions are gradually lifting and stores reopening show promise. Markets like Germany and Australia report a high volume of sales. But only time will tell if this is an initial bump or a continued trend. And whether what happens in one country will apply to another.
To support the transition back to in-store shopping, retailers must ensure that customers feel safe and secure. Tailored shop fits, like protective screens, have already been deployed as well as new processes and policies, like social distancing, that put health and safety at the forefront of retailers’ operating models.
But how will businesses know whether their efforts are deemed to be effective by their customers? To ensure retailers remain connected to customer opinion, I believe it’s vital to have excellent in-store feedback mechanisms. New, non-invasive, low-effort, digital technology solutions can capture the ‘softer’ aspects of customer experience while building up a clear picture of the perceived effectiveness of the retailer’s safeguarding approach.
As consumer confidence builds, retailers will need to enhance and build out more flexible customer journeys. For some businesses, this will include enabling a highly personalized experience through in-store appointments or digital concierges which enable a bespoke interaction without increasing social contact beyond one employee.
For other retailers, it will include the introduction of contactless pickup, curb-side delivery or other click and collect solutions. Retailers will achieve this through collaboration and partnering and examples already exist among firms like Co-op, Shell and BP that have started to use home delivery platforms or developed their own propositions. This trend will be accelerated post the pandemic.
Whichever route retailers take, they will require innovative and flexible technology solutions that empower the retailer to adapt and innovate their proposition.
Read other articles in this series:-
Enabling the New Normal: A New Approach to Stock Management
Enabling the New Normal: Greater Flexibility Around Staff Deployment