While we hope to see the end of the virus in 2021, some of its effects will be permanent. Consumer behaviour and priorities have changed. Adapting to these will be the key to staying ahead in 2021.
Here are some of the shifts coming your way, and how VoCoVo can help you to thrive in this new landscape:
The end of shopping for fun
Before the pandemic, there was a growing trend for “destination shopping”. Retailers worked hard to provide unique in-store experiences, designed to keep customers shopping for as long as possible. Stores became social hubs and shopping became a form of entertainment. In 2018, 77% of 18-24 year olds viewed shopping as a leisure activity. This rose to 80% for over 65s.
This came to an abrupt halt in 2020. With research flagging up supermarkets as transmission hotspots, consumers were keen to minimise their shopping time:
- 57% of shoppers expressed anxiety about visiting stores.
- 62% made an effort to shop less.
- 33% said that speed was now the most important factor when choosing where to shop.
Speed will remain a priority in 2021
It may be tempting to push for a return to destination shopping once the pandemic is over. However, this could be the wrong approach. Even after the danger has passed, many shoppers will feel a social obligation to get in and out of stores as quickly as possible.
The rise of ecommerce during the pandemic has altered customer expectations. Your customers have grown used to one click ordering and same day delivery. This means that streamlining your in-store experience will be the only way to compete. This is where we can help:
- Call Points and Headsets allow you to answer queries immediately without having to track down the customer.
- Self-service purchases can be authorised from a distance via headsets.
- Keypads allow checkout colleagues to call for assistance without leaving the customer.
Stores become collection points
As concerns about physical shopping grew in 2020, customers turned to Click & Collect in their thousands:
- Click & Collect increased by 32% in 2020.
- 80% of stores now provide a Click & Collect service.
- Click & Collect will account for 13.9% of all online sales by 2022.
This has changed your customers’ perceptions of what a store is. Rather than being a place to view goods and decide what to buy, stores are seen as collection points for purchased items. Your customers want a safe collection point, not a showroom, and you should bear this in mind when designing the layout of your store:
- Click & Collect points should be in a prominent position. Customers should be able to find them easily without having to venture too far into the store.
- Consider adding extra Click & Collect desks to cope with the demand.
- Increase the use of self-service checkouts and reallocate checkout colleagues to Click & Collect.
- Try to free up as much warehouse space as possible to store Click & Collect items.
VoCoVo and Click & Collect are made for each other
Click & Collect is no longer an optional extra for retailers. It is the backbone of the new normal. As customers use the service more, they will begin to favour stores who simplify the experience. VoCoVo is the perfect accompaniment to Click & Collect:
- Call Points can be placed on Click & Collect desks. Customers can press the button and receive an immediate answer from a colleague. This allows you to leave Click and Collect desks unmanned, saving you £594 per week per store.
- Colleagues can use their headsets to check if an order has arrived. You can call the stock room directly rather than having to walk there yourself
- Outdoor Call Points allow drivers to alert you when a Click & Collect delivery arrives. (Coming soon)
Your customers may have new priorities, but good customer service never goes out of style. VoCoVo is there for you so that you can be there for your customers.