After a seemingly never-ending series of lockdowns in Canada, it's evident that consumers are more eager than ever to relive the golden days of the physical retail experience.
This is great news for an industry that has been hit hard by back-to-back lockdowns throughout the country – and one that had been struggling for years pre-pandemic.
It seems that not being able to set foot inside a physical retail store for months at a time, was just the boost the retail industry needed to get people excited again about the in-store shopping experience.
SafeGraph Inc. recently released data, showing foot traffic at physical clothing stores is up 44% in June from the same month in 2019. That’s up nearly 50% from what it was before the pandemic began!
Due to COVID-19, this last year and a half has been a devastating time for many retail businesses, but it just might have created a rare and unique opportunity for them to take advantage of the post-covid retail renaissance.
The question is, what can retailers do to evolve and enhance the experience to keep customers coming back?
3 ways to enhance the post-covid retail experience
1. Keep it clean
Everyone’s primary concern right now is staying safe and healthy. For retailers, that means stepping up their game when it comes to keeping the shopping environment clean and sanitized. This includes more regular cleaning of the store, sanitizing surfaces and providing hand sanitizer throughout the store.
Yorkdale Mall in Toronto, ON is the very first Canadian shopping centre to be accredited by the CBAC STAR Facility
. This accreditation lets customers know you take their health and safety seriously and gives them peace of mind when shopping at your location.
2. Curbside optional
Many retailers across the country have decided to continue offering curbside pickup at their locations, even though in-store shopping has been reinstated.
For those customers that are still wary of being out in public, continuing to offer indefinite curbside pickup services might be the option they need to start embracing retail again.
3. Scheduled shopping
Even after capacity limits have been lifted, many consumers may not be inclined to return to a crowded retail experience or wait in lengthy lineups outside the store.
Why not allow your customers to schedule their shopping time online? Give customers the option to choose a time slot that fits their schedule and permits them to shop without having to deal with lineups or crowds.
The world will be forever changed after the pandemic, but embracing and adapting to these changes will help your customers feel safer and make your business come back stronger.