Staying safe & staying positive through Covid19.
It is easy to be engulfed by the negative and create a false image of what the future holds. As we navigate the changes we have experienced over the last couple of weeks, we are inevitably left to question the future.
We can all assume the worst for the retail world. Some stores are at their tipping points with the potential of closing for good while others are struggling to keep product on their shelves. Large conglomerates, like Amazon, Walmart, and Costco, are capitalizing the online market with sales in some categories over 300% higher than a month ago. This may be the current state of retail but is it the future of retail?
Looking at the positives, we think not.
Retailers who didn’t have the most prestigious platform to sell online are following suit with the big boys, tailoring their online shopping and marketing to better cater to their customer’s needs. Options for curbside pickup and home delivery came out of the woodwork for many, providing yet another option to meet the needs of their customers. Sure, this isn’t the same momentum stores were seeing mere weeks ago, but collectively it is a good illustration for how stores can quickly adapt. It’s the nature of retail, it is constantly evolving.
Now to beg the question “What do you think this will mean for the retail industry once shelter-in place orders are lifted?”
It is certainly not an easy answer. But as we have all hunkered in place over the last couple of weeks, we can “virtually” feel the anticipation rise to get “out and about” and gain some normalcy.
Will this be the end of extreme online shopping? No.
Will it be the end of brick and mortar retail? Certainly not.
It is human nature to want to see, feel, and even smell a potential purchase to ultimately make the decision “to buy” or “not to buy” in real time. The social aspect of getting out to shop while creating a full day of events, meeting for coffee or lunch followed by dinner or drinks after all the purchases, will still be a drive for many shoppers.
No doubt retailers will be faced with big changes, but the changes will be for the better. Retailers will be more apt to enhance their product offering, create a better balance between their offline and online presence, and even incorporate a store-within-a-store to better assess customer needs. Brick and mortar is here to stay. Retailers will continue to elevate their brand while customers patiently await their reopening.