Retail Reopening - Best Practice Guidelines May 2020



The in-store vibe will be everything when customers return to their usual shopping habits. It’s been a difficult time for many, and it's important that staff recognise their customers may be cautious and sensitive at this time. Likewise, staff teams have many fresh challenges to navigate with in - store distancing and hygiene practices along with increased customer demands and in some cases aggression, reduced staffing levels and product availability.

We truly are all in this together. If we keep that in perspective, the retail reopening period can be a positive experience for everyone.

For some customers, coming out of lockdown is a celebration - and shopping is one of the ultimate outings - it's called retail therapy for a reason!

There is likely to be a retail bounce as consumers release their pent-up demand and make some of the purchases they have deferred or considered during lockdown.

For other customers - particularly those who ar e older or may have health concer ns - shopping will be a matter of necessity rather than desire and they will aim to exit the store experience quickly and efficiently.

Of course, there will be an adjustment period for everyone and we expect a slow but steady recovery as the economy returns to life.

Appealing to the senses Written by Gary McCartney, McCartney Design

Our senses contribute to our emotions. Whilst touching and tasting can be more challenging in a post-COVID -19 environment, we can heighten the visual, sound and smell elements creating a compelling and memorable customer experience.

Hearing - Music has long been known to be an essential in stores- if it’s right, you tend not to notice it, but it enhances your emotional state. Or you might love it and Shazam it. If it’s wrong, you notice it, and it jars to the point where it’s uncomfortable. If it’s not there at all, it’s as if the store was closed.

Seeing - This is the most obvious sense associated with retail. In a cluttered retail landscape, cut-through is key to grabbing the customers’ attention - offering a “decompression zone” between the busy, noisy streetscape and the wonders inside- and is a great Instagram moment.

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