by Esther Bendayan | June 23, 2020
“Contactless” is a word that most of us have heard in recent months. New regulations regarding shopping and picking up groceries have been modified with this term in mind. Although most lockdown rules have become more lenient, people are still weary when leaving the house for basic errands. Everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or buying a new dress now require much more effort and protective gear such as a mask, gloves and hand sanitizer. Although the pandemic won’t last forever, there will be long-lasting effects. As a retailer, it’s important to make the necessary changes to meet these new expectations.
The pandemic has had many implications for the beauty industry. New hygiene standards will make it increasingly difficult for people to sample skincare and makeup products. In order to meet these new standards, stores like Sephora and Ulta have removed cosmetic testers from their retail shelves. Instead of allowing consumers to sample products in-store, consider including individual samples with every purchase.
Checkout congestion has always been something that has exasperated customers. Now, more than ever, customers will expect quick and contactless service. Many retailers can take notes from the Amazon Go stores. These stores don’t require an employee or self-checkout station to complete their purchase. Instead, these partially automated stores utilize various types of technologies to automatically generate a receipt and payment. As a customer removes an item from its shelf, it is automatically added to their virtual cart. When a customer exits the store, the card associated with their account is automatically charged. Amazon has suitably named this technology “Just Walk Out.” Its’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Although regulations are slowly being lifted, many people will still continue to shop online. In order to generate more sales, it’s important to focus on this aspect of your business. Specifically, customers value quick shipping times and a large selection of products. Focusing on your online revenue can allow retailers to connect with consumers from all around the globe.
Since many people will continue to focus on online shopping and delivery, make sure to not limit your brick-and-mortar goals. A great example of this is Apple stores. Apple stores focus on selling products, but also on educating consumers. People can enter the stores and discover the new MacBook features, or test out the new iPhone without purchasing anything.
Even before the pandemic, many retailers were struggling to meet consumer demands. Barney’s, the iconic NYC retailer, filed for bankruptcy this year and was forced to close all stores. In addition, J Crew, the brand that sells apparel and accessories for men, women, and children, has also filed for bankruptcy protection. Today, more than ever before, retailers must shift their structures and processes to stay ahead of the competition.
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