It’s time to make sure customers can look and learn without feeling like they’re shopping in an empty, sterile environment. Concessions, fixtures, product testing and consultations should still be engaging, enjoyable and enlightening. In addition to being safe… we need to bring back the full sensory shopper experience that customers deserve when they choose to venture into a retail environment and engage with brands.
Many in our industry worked tirelessly to welcome shoppers back into their stores safely. Brands and retailers thought on their feet to make adaptations to existing concessions and retail units. Quick physical fixes – such as covering tester units, removing product samples and putting up sneeze screens – have been accompanied by signs, stickers and sanitisers to make customers feel safe.
The beauty sector has arguably seen the greatest restrictive measures applied, with some stores removing testers entirely from concession stands, self-select units and main fixtures. Many have also stopped offering one-to-one consultations.
Since online shopping began, consumers have been able to choose the way they access their favourite brands – the convenience of online vs the multi-sensory experience of bricks and mortar. Whilst this perhaps does simplify the decision process, undoubtedly if we remove the opportunity to experience products in real life it will certainly effect the number of shoppers willing to join the queue.
Nothing can compare to standing in front of a vast array of cosmetic colours, smelling fragrance or having a face-to-face consultation with an expert. If we remove or compromise this we will water down the quality of the in store brand experience. This will directly impact retail sales for beauty, because many love hitting the stores for entertainment. An outing to a beauty shop or hall is often more about leisure and fun than product need – this is true now more than ever.
Ensuring customers and staff feel safe enough to come back into store has been the immediate priority but now that many shops are open and operating safely, it’s time to think more about customer experience. How can we bring delight and joy back into shopping
Customers want to feel connected to the brands they love, so we’ve taken all our experience in the health, beauty and cosmetics sector to consider how brands and retailers operating in this space can give customers everything they crave. We can create a retail strategy for an in store experience that reflects your brand. Our retail design team will take every element of the ‘new normal’ and shape it to match your look and feel.
If you’d like to talk about how to bring back the enjoyment to every aspect of shopper experience (even the queues!) please do get in touch.