As nation plans to re-open in Unlock 1.0, malls and stores move cautiously while adjusting to the new normal. The largest lockdown in the wake of COVID-19, which brought many industries to a standstill, is gradually being lifted, providing a chance to recommence.
“About 62 per cent of respondents said they were inclined to visit stores within the first three months post lockdown. This number goes up to 75 per cent in tier-II and tier-III cities.” — Retailers Association of India
Consumers are exhibiting signs of caution and conservatism which means sure but slower recovery for the retail sector. The assurance of safety seems to be the key factor for consumers.
Buyers’ consumption behaviors have altered, and brands need to redefine their marketing strategies to secure the trust of consumers and welcome them back.
The new world consumer will be more comfortable with stores following contactless procedures, sanitization regimens, scheduled visits to ensure social distancing, digital payments etc.
As per a report by Times of India, “Apparel brand Cantabil has recently re-opened its exclusive brand stores across the country and allowed the use of trial rooms. However, the clothes tried by the customers will be kept in separate boxes for 24 hours and will later be sanitized”.
“Kaya Ltd, skin & hair care solutions brand is planning to maintain the highest protocols on social distancing. They are scheduling clients visit only through prior appointments and not allowing more than 4 clients visiting any clinics per hour.” said a report by IANS
‘Phygital’ — a new retail strategy for post COVID world
Brands are leveraging digital marketing, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) solutions to engage shoppers.
As per experts, retailers need to implement the seamless integration of phygital (physical and digital) to create a seamless brand experience across digital and physical space.
Phygital presence is gaining grounds in the retail industry. Given the ubiquity of WhatsApp and Mobile penetration buoyed by the growing interest for online, retailers are paving the way with WhatsApp chatbots and Webbots.
“Bata India is giving customers an option to shop from confines of their homes via WhatsApp chat with the nearby stores. This allows our store managers to get in touch with our customers and make sure that we are able to offer them and deliver at home.” — Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Kataria said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
The process can be initiated by leveraging the loyalty data and analytics, running personalized campaigns. Through analytics, relevant audience, products and offers can be mapped. The assistance is further enriched by insights like last product bought, preferred budget, and willingness to new purchase.
Store associates can reach out to consumers in vicinity and communicate based on their past buying behaviors, assist them to shop with curb side pickups/ same-day delivery.
If consumers are willing to visit the store, they are assured to do by scheduling appointments to ensure limited no. of customers at a time. For better utilization of the limited time, consumers can also pre-select the shopping items.
It has become very crucial for the retailers to have a phygital system in place to grab the attention of the consumers, support the buying decision and facilitate sales.
Meet Shopster — A customizable retail toolkit solution to drive sales
Shopster is a plug-n-play retail toolkit that assists brands in driving offline sales by bringing store to home through conversational commerce.
Looking towards serving the needs of the consumers, EasyRewardz helps brands facilitating highly personalized campaigns, one on one interaction on the ubiquitous mediums through its highly intuitive and competitively priced offering Shopster.
It’s always better to be prepared to ensure the business is running even in the most challenging times. Early adopters of phygital solutions seem to be one step ahead and are poised for success.
Learn more about how we can help you transform your business with Shopster.
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