Continued emphasis on online & BOPIS
Retailers are likely to see a continued penetration of e-commerce. Whilst this isn’t a new concept with consumers already buying online, some brands may see a further increase in their online sales with restrictions still in place and heightened awareness of proximity to others, social distancing measures, etc.
In the US, McKinsey has found that 17 per cent of consumers are shifting away from their primary store due to e-commerce availability and hygiene considerations. Companies have seen customers shift to new omnichannel models such as buying online and picking up in-store (BOPIS) with a 28 per cent increase year on year in February 2020 compared to 18 per cent in January 2020. Furthermore, consumers are reporting that they intend to continue to use such models as BOPIS (56 per cent) and grocery delivery (45 per cent) after the pandemic. Fulfilment technologies like Foyer build a more seamless omnichannel experience between online and in store, with options like appointments and contactless payments upon arrival.
According to Forbes, many American families have been opting for online grocery shopping for the first time and this is expected to continue. For example, in mid-March, the mobile application tracking company Apptopia reported the average daily downloads for digital apps such as Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have significantly increased 218%, 160%, and 124% respectively since February.
Enhanced and personalized in-store experiences
The need to remain conscious of health and the recent improvements to online capabilities means that consumers are finding fewer reasons to visit retail stores. With the expected reduction in foot traffic, retailers need to understand their customers’ needs and define the role that physical stores have in the post-COVID retail landscape.