The pandemic has changed the world from the inside out. It has set new priorities regarding focus and safety. As regions open, individuals will migrate slowly to a new normal. Social exchange behavior has altered and it will not be back to “business as usual.” As a brick and mortar retailer, it is important to understand how the dynamics of the consumer psyche has changed and the steps you can take to reengage with your customers.
First and foremost, safety first. The CDC offers an abundance of information and guidelines for businesses to keep employees and customers safe. We have observed many of the new shopping standards from limiting the number of customers, encouraging six feet of spacing, and supplying hand sanitizer for employees and customers. Before opening your business, exceed the suggested guidelines, and make certain you are doing everything in your power to eradicate any possible traces of the virus.
To implement these new recommendations, retailers need to take an aerial view of their store layout and make modifications to accommodate a conscientious customer flow. It is important to shrink displays and expand walking areas to avoid congestion. This task is not easy and is counterintuitive to previous understandings of visual merchandising. It is now necessary to capture the attention of customers while at the same time recognizing consumers new understanding regarding proximity. By offering more space and sightlines, it enables consumers to “feel” more comfortable in your store.
Enter your store and walk through from exploration to purchase. See, feel and visualize your customers experience from a new lens. What areas need to be expanded? How can you rearrange to give your customers security? Consider tightening presentation areas, taking out unnecessary fixtures and combining vignettes to allocate more floor space for your customer. In a world that measures retail dollars per square inch, I recognize the task is not easy, but stick with me. The first part of change is understanding why we need to transform. We can redesign your business understanding these new parameters and build a new reality as we renovate your store!