In-store retail is back, but with its return, there is no doubt that the way we shop, or want to shop, has changed forever. With the growth of e-commerce and the adoption of new shopping habits, retailers must act fast to create modern, in-store experiences that complement their digital presence while differentiating their offering from the saturated retail market.
Whether it’s online or in-store, revised retail strategies are crucial for brands as consumer behavior evolves. The stores of tomorrow must serve a purpose beyond that of the pure sales opportunity and transform into a destination where service, convenience, and discovery take place. In our latest ‘Retail Revised’ series we’ll be discussing key themes retailers must consider to enhance their in-store experience. This week, we discussing key opportunities in providing more convenience:
With the rapid growth of e-commerce, convenience has taken on new meaning as customers expect brands to provide services that help to streamline their busy lives and save time. Retailers must quickly adapt and identify how their shopping experience can support this desire. Whether it’s offering more clear and dedicated operations for fulfillment or creating new concepts to get closer to consumers, there are many clever and valuable ways to enhance convenience in shopping environments.
When activating these opportunities, there are key principles to consider:
- Identify underutilized space OR consider non-customer-facing real estate options
- Provide designated support and empower your employees with the right tools
- Keep disruption of parking lots and in-store browsing zones to a minimum
- Create an integrated customer journey with added communication and tech
- Remember your brand purpose
And here are a few brands that are providing highly convenient services and environments:
Target’s “New Glow”
Target just revealed a new, multi-year “glow up” plan to renovate existing locations to improve the shopping experience both in-store and online. The remodel involves creating a designated and expanded area for in-store pick-up, return, and registry operations to better accommodate customers and reduce confusion in the traditional one-lane customer service areas the stores previously feature. Wider isles are also part of the plan to create more space for in-store shoppers and employees fulfilling online orders.
Whole Foods Dark Store
Whole Foods Market has opened its first online-only store located in Brooklyn, NY. Referred to as a “dark store,” the miniature warehouse-like space will fulfill delivery orders only and help Whole Foods better meet rising customer demand for grocery delivery service. Here, online orders can be packed for pickup or delivery.
NELSON Click-and-Collect Concepts
Adjusting to safety demands and new consumer behaviors, NELSON Worldwide explored the idea of creative click-and-collect concepts that could serve retailers and mixed-use developments. The Concierge Box is a mobile pop-up concept that can be placed outside of the traditional store to get closer to consumers or move pick-up services away from merchandise zones. Check out more of these concepts here.
The overall goal is to make purchasing easy enough that shoppers keep coming back for more, but brands must be strategic about how they approach these strategies. A demand lies in safe and convenient options, but tomorrow that may change and these concepts must be flexible enough to evolve with the consumer.