According to Helen Dickinson OBE, Head of British Retail Consortium, the cost of lost sales to non-essential stores during lockdown is now over £22bn and counting. This means April 12th for thousands of businesses cannot come quick enough.
Whilst there is trepidation amongst retailers that customers won’t be returning when the shops open, consumers have an air of excitement that there will be a semblance of normality to everyday life.
We know that Lockdown 3 has been dynamic and multifaceted and consumer’s behaviour has changed since 2020. We have seen an increase in online trading and in February some online channels recorded strong sales, some up to triple figure growth. A trend, which is predicted to remain the same after lockdown. This means, for retailers having an omnichannel approach is absolutely essential.
A recent report from McKinsey stated:
“We expect these changes will shape consumers’ habits even beyond the effects of COVID-19,” says McKinsey. “In…the U.S., upward of 60% of consumers who tried a new behaviour plans to stick with it post-crisis.”
Brand loyalty has also decreased, with up to 62% of people changing their brand preferences since March 2020, so consumers are making broader choices than previously.
So. The challenges to reopening on April 12th are tough.
The great news is, that there is huge pent up demand for spending and economists are predicting that we will see spend rebound, and UK stores can expected a 47.9% week-on-week leap in footfall, according to Springboard data.
Are you aware of what consumers feel about returning to face to face shopping?
How are you preparing?
Here are a few thoughts for you to get yourself ready to go with a smile and doors wide open on April 12th:
- Welcome shoppers back into a safe & trustworthy environment
- Re-build brand loyalty around enjoying retail again
- Remind them to keep a safe distance for now
- Allow them to look forward to getting back to normal soon
- Plan for the future – themes, events and campaigns to look forward to
The most important thing is that your customers have the best shopping experience, you and your team are taking charge, and you’ve created the most positive, engaging experience possible.
We create #backtobusiness marketing plans for retailers looking forward to reopening their doors and need a kick start!
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