When lockdown lifts
Once high streets, malls and retail spaces reopen, there will likely be a significant level of reluctance to return to old shopping habits immediately, if ever, so the need for an omnichannel approach will become increasingly vital.
In-store experiences will grow and evolve as a means of enticing customers back through the doors and will become the very fabric of physical retail for the foreseeable future.
Samsung KX at Kings Cross is an example of futuristic retail at its best, with their striking brand space offering immersive experiences delivered by a team of dynamic, knowledgeable product experts – a far cry from a traditional store model.
AR and VR work equally well in a physical setting as they open up a host of opportunities to take customers on a journey and showcase products in a way they have never been experienced before.
Social distancing has at least afforded retailers the chance to offer shoppers more personal experiences as, outside of lockdown, they can only been enjoyed within bubbles currently.
This concept is likely to prevail for some time, not only because it will take several months, if not well into next year, to vaccinate every willing adult in the country, but it is the perfect way of making customers feel valued and important.
In fact, personalisation as a whole continues to dominate the retail sector and is unlikely to disappear any time soon – from targeted social media advertising to bespoke products and experiences both online and in-store, it is a sure fire way of connecting more meaningfully with customers.
Social media itself will also take on a whole new dimension as shopping direct from the platform, as opposed to being taken to the vendor’s site, will become more commonplace.
Pop up retail will grow in popularity in 2021 too, as online brands look for a temporary means of reaching out to shoppers in the flesh.
We are also expecting to see state-of-the-art retail models emerging over the next 12 months or so, bringing a new vibe and fresh excitement to shopping.
Situ Live is a great example of a unique model opening this year at Westfield, London, offering lifestyle brands the chance to partner up and showcase in exclusive spaces bringing their products to life in a captivating, entertaining way.
It will allow shoppers to enjoy and experience a multitude of innovative products all in one place, demonstrated by charismatic presenters in a theatre style setting.