All being well, the England retail sector is about to re-open from the 12th April 2021 under the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown. Retail stores across England are gearing up for enticing shoppers back to their bricks and mortar stores throughout towns and cities.

If one thing lockdown has taught us, is that whilst UK shoppers will happily shop online, but they also like to enjoy time outside of the home, shopping and meeting with friends to share shopping experiences and make day of it.

Something that bricks and mortar stores can give consumer, which online retail can’t always provide, is ‘immediate purchase’. So how can retailers make the balance between online and offline work in their favour?

The reality is, that online retailers really need to now be thinking more broadly and outside the traditional shopping box. Observing product accessibility and purchase options can help their brand to develop and overcome these challenges. At the very heart of their understanding is consumer behaviour and utilising the tool that it most prominently in their hand or not far away from them – the smartphone.

According to a recent article on https://internetretailing.net/ by Gerhard Zehethofer, VP of IoT at digital identity specialist ForgeRock, he identifies, “As online becomes dominant as the preferred method of consumer engagement, it is also increasingly shaping consumer expectations of experiences across all channels – online and offline.”

 

Helping Online and Offline to work in harmony for the England Retail Sector

So how can the England retail sector make the most out of a digital experience and meet customer expectations? The answer is through the omni-approach.

Online can drive customers to a store but stores can also drive customers online, it’s a two-way opportunity to drive sales either way and here are some ideas:

  1. If the customer sees a product online, the store notifies the customer as to where they can buy it that day or make the purchase online and be delivered within their preferred time frame.
  2. If customers see something online they can save it to the brand’s app. This can flag up when they are near or in the store as a reminder. It could also show them where it is in the store which can entice the customer directly to the rail / shelf to find out more.
  3. If a customer sees a product in the store but for whichever reason doesn’t want to buy it or carry it there and then, the smartphone could scan the garment and put it in their online basket, which they can view later to make the purchase online.

The fact is that consumers are kind of already doing the above but independently of brand apps. Most customers at some point have taken screen grab photos of online products to save for later, to find in the store or they have taken photos of clothes and price tags when they are out, to remember for a later date, to share with friends, etc

Coupled with new innovative biometrics to see yourself wearing the clothes or visualise the sofa in your lounge, shopping is about to take a very new direction, which is really exciting, the England Retail Sector just needs to be ready to drive it!

At Crendon Insurance we support retailers who are operating online with online retail insurance. If you are an Amazon FBA retailer, we also offer Amazon FBA insurance to business owner who are looking to protect stock whilst in storage or transit. To find out more, please contact our online retail insurance team.

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