How brands can transform in-store experience for the post-Covid world

By Hozefa Attari and Saad Khan

Businesses need to rethink retail and how they can lessen the burden of high rental and operational costs the channel incurs. Particularly in categories like automobiles and consumer electronics where large format has been a must.

Here are five trends brands can leverage to transform their retail channels into new experiences.

  1. It’s not about contactless, it’s about seamlessness: We have already started seeing auto manufacturers start “Amazoning” dealerships, where cars appear in boxes, like apparel. However, customers buy cars very differently and the winners will be the marketers who understand that the customer journey is not like buying a pair of shoes. Brands need to develop intuitive and customer specific platforms like jaguar.rockar.com, where one can explore range, schedule test drives, check pricing and trade-in options and select from dealer inventory without having to go through one specific journey.

  2. It’s also Day 1 for the store salesman: The role of the store salesman will change dramatically. Instead of having sales staff standing around in empty stores, brands are leveraging the expertise of store salespeople to connect live with shoppers. Shoppers can speak to salespersons via video chats, preview new product drops, and see features and demos.

  3. Small is the new black: Leaner formats will sprout. Brands like Citroen are experimenting with small formats. Croma also experimented with a curated Gadgets of Desire format which was less than 2,000 sq. ft. Half store-half app, these formats will stock key SKUs with remaining range augmented by digital tools.

  4. Explore products in your house: Today, AR technology allows a product like a car to appear in a living room through a phone. One can walk around it, see how it looks, or even open the doors and get a sense of the interiors. What was once possible in physical dealerships can now come alive in homes. For instance, Cadillac creates AR experiences in Google Search.

  5. Using data to define dealership locations: Global quick serve restaurants use analytics to recommend the location of stores based on big data and AI by taking in multiple data points like demographic input, cell phone and social media activity. These models allow retailers to pick the right location for their stores and even the kind of revenue that store will generate.

  6. In a nutshell, the current economic climate provides traditional retail brands an opportunity to let go of the experiences built on old systems and traditional sales processes and move in line with changing consumer behaviours and expectations.

How brands can transform in-store experience for the post-Covid world How brands can transform in-store experience for the post-Covid world Reviewed by TechCO on 8/29/2020 Rating: 5

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