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Industry News

Published on June 10th, 2020 | by The GC Team

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It’s retail, but not as we know it, according to new survey

As retailers in England ready stores for reopening on June 15th, a survey by online scheduling and customer engagement platform Appointedd provides a glimpse of what the public expect a safe return to retail to look like, post Covid-19.

The poll, undertaken during the first week of June, shows that store capacity is vital in the return to physical retail. Although 65% of people polled expected the shops to be quieter than normal, 79% said they would be more likely to visit those that limited the number of visitors in store, and 75% of shoppers would rather book a guaranteed entry time rather than join a virtual queuing system.

The figures point to a clear shift in how comfortable people feel entering physical stores at this time: 55% don’t expect to return to their normal shopping habits when non-essential shops reopen, and 25% went as far to say that they don’t think they’ll ever return to the same level of in-store shopping.

Concerns around shopping safely in store were of high priority. When asked how shops can make customers feel safer, hand sanitiser (84%) and capacity management (71.5%) were placed highest, with PPE ranking at 25%.

Shoppers signalled that they are ready to engage across a number of channels, even within a single transaction. 76% said that they would like to reserve or buy an item online and then book a guaranteed click & collect time. And 20% of respondents indicated they would be interested in attending a virtual shopping experience on Zoom, either by themselves or with friends.

So what is the “new normal” for retail? According to Appointedd, two actions are clear: “Shoppers want online access to a full omnichannel suite of retail services and, where shoppers need to visit a physical store, queue-less shopping is essential.”

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