The post-pandemic high street
Here at VoCoVo we believe that the high street is more than just a place to buy things. A good store can provide experiences that the internet can never match.
Before the pandemic, many people enjoyed shopping as a leisure activity. A 2018 survey found that over 75% of consumers spent at least some of their free time shopping. This was true across all age groups, with over 65s especially likely to shop for fun.
We were curious to see if people still felt this way, so we asked consumers in the UK and US about their shopping plans after the pandemic.
- 56% plan to go back to shopping in stores as soon as they can.
- 57% have not lost confidence in physical retail as a result of the pandemic.
- 41% prefer to see products in store before they buy them.
- 16% are looking forward to shopping with friends and family.
The results suggest that there’s plenty of life in the high street yet.
VoCoVo helps you to play to your strengths
It is interesting to note that respondents mentioned several aspects of in-store retail that the internet cannot replicate. Trying on clothes, seeing products up close and shopping with friends and family were all cited as reasons to return to stores. This suggests that retailers can thrive by focusing on the things that make them unique.
However, it is also important to pay attention to changes in purchasing behaviour. Customers have grown used to the speed and convenience of online shopping. One-click ordering, same day delivery, and round-the-clock customer service have become the norm, and this has altered consumer expectations.
This is where VoCoVo can help:
- Call Points allow customers to find information without having to queue.
- Headsets speed up the self-checkout process by letting colleagues authorise purchases remotely.
- Headsets are linked to your phone system so you will never miss a customer call.
Taking advantage of omnichannel
It is tempting to view the future of retail as a battle between eCommerce and physical stores. But this could be a mistake. Your customers don’t see this distinction and neither should you. Our research shows that customers prefer to mix and match their channels in order to get the best possible service:
- 52% of customers plan to shop online and in store for fashion products.
- 49% plan to do the same for electronics and home appliances.
- 41% will shop online and in store for DIY and gardening products.
The best example of this omnichannel approach is the rise of Click & Collect during the pandemic. The number of UK Click & Collect locations grew by 32% in 2020 and the market is expected to be worth £9.6 billion by 2022. This is another area in which VoCoVo can help. Our products are designed to make the Click & Collect process as easy as possible:
- Call Points can be placed on the Click & Collect desks. Customers can use these to check if their order has arrived.
- Colleagues can contact the stock-room via their headsets to check on the status of Click & Collect orders. This saves the customer waiting while a colleague walks there.
- External Call Points (coming soon) will ensure that you never miss a Click & Collect delivery.
Time to get back on track
Customers are as keen as you are for stores to open again. However, we can’t expect things to be exactly as they were before. Consumers are craving hands-on experience, but they also have new priorities and expectations. With a little help from VoCoVo, you can give them exactly what they want.