4 ways the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped retail
Impacts on customer experience, promotions and shopping behaviour
The coronavirus pandemic has completely transformed our daily lives. So, it’s not surprising that the way we shop has changed too. This has completely reshaped the retail industry. New shopping trends have emerged that have impacted customer experience, promotions and shopping behaviour. Consumers have responded to the ‘new normal’ and it’s likely that these changes are here to stay as the disruption continues into 2021.
To help you navigate the complexities of the ever-changing retail landscape, we have analysed recent data from various credible sources, including Kantar and Censuswide, about the impacts of the pandemic on retail. Our field marketing experts have identified four factors that brands must consider to resonate with customers during these troubling times.
1. On-shelf availability is key to a convenient customer experience
A study by Kantar revealed that consumers value convenience more than anything else in their shopping trips. This includes both online purchases (86%) and those made in a store (69%).
In the chaos of the first lockdown, grocery retail saw a sharp increase in demand for essential products. Toilet rolls were flying off the shelves and retailers were understandably overwhelmed. This panic buying spread to other products, including hygienic items. This heightened focus on health and hygiene has not let up, as concerns about the virus spreading continue.
The exceptional growth in online shopping and click & collect has put further pressure on stores. We have noticed that stock is being taken from the store’s shelves to fulfil the influx of online orders, in times where resource is already challenged. On–shelf availability in many stores is suffering as a result, meaning brands are losing sales.
On-shelf availability is much more complex than just having the right amount of stock in store. Products need to be in the right place, at the right time. Out of stock items, often caused by replenishment issues, can be frustrating for shoppers. This doesn’t just mean you are losing out on sales, it means potential lost customer loyalty too.
How can this be avoided? With Logobrand’s support, you can rest assured that shelves are fully stocked and brands are available to consumers.
Our Availability Manager System provides real-time in-house data, analysing your retailer EPOS data daily (ranging, stock and sales) along with field-captured data. This means we can also identify issues and opportunities in order to act fast. Unfortunately, store staff can only do so much, so the field marketing experts at Logobrand will provide a helping hand where it really matters. We spend your budget efficiently by focusing resource where we know will have the greatest impact and deliver a positive ROI for you.
2. Shoppers are more purposeful when purchasing fast-moving consumer goods
The value of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) has been growing during the pandemic. Kantar predicted that an extra 503 million meals will be prepared and eaten at home in the UK for the foreseeable future. This can be attributed to more people working from home, and restaurants and bars intermittently closed, increasing the volume of shopping baskets. Households have also tried to create special moments at home, buying more to emphasise indoor occasions.
To limit the risk of the spread of coronavirus, most shopping trips have reduced to one or two larger trolley shops. This means we know when and where we’re going to shop before leaving the house (shopping list in hand, of course). So, when it comes to FMCG, the stakes are high for retailers to win over their customers for their weekly shopping trips.
3. Customer experience is more important than ever
Censuswide found that one-third of shoppers were concerned about health and safety measures not being adhered to by other people in-store. Customers just want to get in and out as safely as possible, and avoid bumping shoulders with anyone at all costs. Therefore, effective social distancing measures, strict rules on masks and communicating empathetically are crucial to making customers feel safe and to return.
The pandemic has seen an increase in eCommerce, with 27% of British consumers preferring the ease of doing their shopping from home. However, according to the ONS, almost three-quarters of purchases are still made in bricks and mortar. By optimising merchandising in-store, brands can capitalise on new shopping behaviours to ensure customer experience remains a priority.
4. Value for money and discounts are key purchase decision drivers
Growing economic uncertainty means shoppers want to spend less in the run–up to Christmas, putting extra pressure on retailers to pull out all the stops. Customers said value for money (41%) and discounts (32%) are at the forefront of their minds.
So, people are prioritising value over luxury.
To maximise sales, brands and retailers must optimise their in-store promotions and price visibility to appeal to the customer’s preference of affordability. Kantar predicts that retailers will use discounts to drive customers away from their competition. What the “right” price is will continue to change along with consumer needs and preferences. Listening to these changes is critical.
Strategic promotional campaigns will be a game–changer for brands, as the right offer and discount can make the difference between a purchase or lost sale. Here, field marketers ensure that every aspect of the promotion is compliant with brand and marketing standards. Our team focuses on execution for a number of brands, ensuring our clients’ plans are activated and maintained through all the noise of the pandemic.
Logobrand are a field marketing agency that represent almost one-third of Britain’s best–loved brands in the multiple grocers and have done so for more than 30 years. Our field team have a range of sales and marketing expertise. Each representative operates on a local level to ensure close communication with the stores.
If you would like to learn more about how to adapt to the new normal and gain expert brand support, please get in touch with us.