Reinvent the In-Store Shopping Experience to Deliver What Consumers Want

Retailers who operate physical stores and want to stay competitive must reinvent the in-store shopping experience. Customers are gradually returning to buying products in physical stores instead of primarily making purchases online. Research indicates that in-store shopping will be 85 percent higher than last year. After limiting their social interactions, consumers now want to feel good when they engage with others and shop in retail stores.

People also expect the visit to be significantly more rewarding than when they shopped pre-pandemic. According to the ChaseDesign 2022 Shopper Sentiment survey, consumers want convenience, fun, and digital benefits comparable to those offered online. Why do people like shopping at physical stores?

  • 47 percent, ability to get what I want the same day
  • 42 percent, physical touch
  • 31 percent, environment
  • 32 percent, social experience
  • 26 percent knowledgeable staff

Retailers Have New Challenges
It’s good that shoppers are eager to make in-person purchases. However, retailers may find it challenging to deliver on consumers’ expectations. New research conducted by ChaseDesign offers specific insights into what consumers want retailers to do to earn their business.

Here’s what Joe Lampertius said via press release. “Following nearly two years of building
e-commerce into their buying patterns, shoppers demand a new physical store experience that integrates the digital benefits they’ve gotten used to online. This change means creating a more convenient, rewarding, and fun customer journey through the store.”

“For retailers, this means maintaining and even boosting their expertise in e-commerce and omnichannel in the context of their physical stores. It’s about having the right information presented to shoppers through the use of apps, QR codes, AR and VR, and other digital tech,

so the in-store shopping experience can be as dynamic and convenient as online experiences.”  Survey results indicate:

  • 92 percent of people buy in-store
  • 56 percent of shoppers buy online and ship to home
  • 59 percent buy online and pick up in-store

Buy Online Deliver to Home Trend Slows Down
As people return to in-store shopping, there is a marked decline in online orders delivered to the home. Sixty-seven percent of consumers plan to opt out, while 35 percent of people will continue placing an order for home delivery.

Technology Gives Physical Stores a Boost
The awareness that shoppers crave relevant in-store experiences has motivated best-in-class retailers to invest in digital technology that improves shopping efficiency and stimulates the senses. Advancements consumers feel are helpful include retailer apps, self-checkout, kiosks, and interactive displays. While the use of QR codes, augmented reality, and virtual reality are increasing, it will take time for them to engage shoppers fully.

  • Over two-thirds occasionally use self-checkout
  • 44 percent use the retailer’s apps
  • 29 percent use QR codes

Shoppers indicate that self-checkout is the resource they use most often at retail. Streamlining the checkout process is motivating more retailers to institute contactless payments. To fully leverage the benefits of technology, retailers should review the design and flow of their checkout areas and the placement of impulse merchandise at the front of the store. This opportunity to create an innovative shopping experience empowers consumers to scan, pick up merchandise, and walk out the door.

Time to Make a Change
Retailers are bombarded with information, so it can be challenging to determine the relevant ideas for their business vs. a fad. The pandemic has resulted in several sustainable consumer trends that require immediate attention from retailers. When consumers candidly share their likes and dislikes, it’s wise to take action. While value, service, and convenience remain essential retail elements, 77 percent of respondents think the in-store experience is “important” or “very important.” If customers have made the shift, so should retailers.

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