Turning to the future of retail, the question arises as to whether the consumer wants to go for shopping in a physical store, and consequently whether the existence of physical points of sales will continue to exist long-term. The consumer behavior in the Greek market, before the second lockdown, at the beginning of November, indicates the consumer need for a shopping experience in the physical stores.
On Thursday, November 5th – as soon as Greek premier announces nationwide lockdown – the Qivos Cloud platform insights and the reward schemes executed by Qivos reveal an increase in turnover of 18%, compared to the previous Thursday (29 / 10). Compared to the previous day, Wednesday 4/11, the increase in turnover indicates explosive growth, reaching 82%. In plain terms, shoppers rush to physical stores, before the new lockdown, confirming that the relationship between consumers and physical touchpoints remains strong, even if there is a significant increase in online sales during 2020 – which however does not exceed 20% of the total.
The physical store experience is irreplaceable, an experience that embraces direct contact with the brand, the product, socialization and often turns into fun. How many times, we all have said “let’s go to the shops”, even when we do not have the intention to buy.
On the other hand, consumer convenience is now the driving factor when making purchases in physical stores and this will determine the future of retail. The retail industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace – a pace with which many brands have struggled to keep up in recent years and adapt to new technologies, to reassure their sustainability. The rapid digital change in the retail industry will put pressure on businesses and is expected to cause radical changes. The retailers that will manage to turn the challenge into an opportunity, are the ones that will shortly utilize the new technologies.
Consumers seek the ultimate tailored-experience, easy access to the products that are interested in and personalized communication. The companies that do not take immediate actions will not be able to meet the demands of the customers soon. At Qivos, we help brands meet this challenge by providing new technologies and delivering a holistic consumer experience.
Collecting consumer data across all touchpoints and converting them into valuable insights, by using edge technologies such as machine learning is the key to the success. This can lead to personalized communication between the consumer and the brand.
An ultimate customer experience requires personalized offers, a high level of customer service (regardless of point of sale) and rewards for brand loyalty. The consumer wants to receive information about the preferred products and services, at the preferred communication channel.
Companies that implement a unified strategy increase sales by up to 25%. The transition, from a linear consumer experience towards a holistic experience, is the answer for the future of the physical store.
Author: Maria Charmpi, Qivos’ Client Service Director