21 July 2020
Author: Mark Fraser
With the horizon of retail’s new normal inching ever closer, it’s important that retailers remain poised and ready for an increase in footfall and shoppers. Which is to say, attracting people to store is paramount as we get back into the swing of life after lockdown.
But how do you attract people into your store? A retailer must do more than simply throw open the doors and hope that people arrive at the store to buy products. There are a variety of ways to draw people to store, so here’s our list of six things we think retailers should focus on in order to attract consumers.
Being competitive on price is perhaps an obvious thing for any retailer. Consumers like a bargain, and they like to make their money go far, particularly with recession on the minds of most. For example, even though there are very few big box tech retailers left, Currys PC World are always going to want to be competitive with Amazon, making them attractive to many people, as they can get the same items at the same price as they are online, but without having to wait for delivery. So, price must be a significant consideration for any retailer.
It’s frustrating when you go into a store and realise that the item you want is out of stock, however there’s almost always an alternative nearby that will suit as an acceptable replacement in a pinch. Which just demonstrates how important range is – consumers want to know that their favourite stores stock a range of goods. Having this knowledge is not only important when it comes to stock availability, but it can also help retailers specialise in certain ranges that their competitors do not. Retailer A may stock better wine than Retailer B, but Retailer B may stock better beer than Retailer A. This can be a key point of attraction for a Retailer, because if consumers are looking to choose from a wide range of products in a particular category, and your store has the better selection than your competitor, your store will remain attractive to them, and as a result this will cascade into the shopper spending more time in store, which ends in them making multiple purchases and becoming a regular.
Even in sectors, like convenience, where the cost of field sales is prohibitive for some brands, they can still advise and influence stores on range through apps like MyStore+ to give retailers information on the core range and rewards for stocking it.
An easy to navigate store, with products laid out in sensible sections, is a big attraction for consumers, particularly in an environment where consumers are health conscious and want to shop quickly and seamlessly. Humans are creatures of habit, we like routine and whilst it’s certain that some people prefer certain layouts over others, having a good store layout is definitely attraction to a lot of people, even if that is ultimately a sub-conscious attraction. Supermarkets offer a great example of this because whether you’re arriving to do a large weekly shop, or you’re popping in for something small on the way home from work, consumers want to walk into a well laid out store that will allow them to get what they want without any obstacles, quickly.
Everyone’s shopping experience is different, but one key thing that makes a shopping experience seamless is seeing that there are plenty of staff available. How the staff behave completely depends on the kind of store you’re in – in a supermarket you want to know someone is nearby in case you have a question, but you also want to see them stocking shelves so you know items are always available; in a technology store you want to know staff are nearby so they can offer advice or demo a product. Having attentive, informed staff is something that brings repeat custom. Staff can further be augmented with field teams. Brands can deploy teams into stores to make sure stock of certain items are always available, train staff of products or actively sell to consumers, taking the load off the store staff and making the store attractive to consumers in the process.
Whilst not applicable to every kind of retailer, having local services embedded within a store can be a huge attraction for consumers. Supermarkets are good at this because they often have things like opticians or post offices inside them, meaning that shoppers can fulfil multiple different kinds of tasks at the one location. Some fashion outlets are good at this too, as they will often have services that allow users to send Amazon or other kinds of deliveries to a store, thus offering a similar kind of attraction to consumers.
Being able to do your shopping online and pick it up at the store gained increased popularity during the covid-19 outbreak, but it’s something that has always been available. As evidenced above, many retailers will not only let you shop and pick it up online, but they also partner with delivery companies to serve as of parcel hub. This service is great for those who are not working at home and cannot have parcels delivered to an office. Similarly, being able order items online and having them ready to be picked up is also attractive to those who are averse to going into store, or those whose schedules don’t allow for browsing around a store. Letting consumers know that you offer such services is attractive, but when combined with the other services on this list, it can be a game changer.
Most retailers will have a focus on a few these, but if you’re perhaps lacking in one area then we can help. Whether it’s ensuring you remain competitive through outstanding execution, training store staff, supporting you with engaging and selling to consumers or providing insight on what products sell best.
Check out our LinkedIn Page and follow us as we chat more about the future of retail throughout the month of July. If you’d like to hear more about some of the services listed in this article, please get in touch and we can discuss how they can benefit your brand.