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Redefine and Enrich Costumer Experience:

Retail actions for Post Covid-19

 

May 01, 2020. By Adrián Aguilar G.

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Before Covid-19, the evolution towards a growing online shopping market increased exponentially, so physical experience was understood as an important complementary point to boost costumer visits.

Worldwide conditions for the containment of Covid-19 (produced by SARS-CoV-2) infections, such as quarantine and social distancing, makes the experience in commercial premises become essential, while providing the opportunity to renew customer approach strategies.

The need for return to mobility, allows physical space to reenter the consumption equation, thus it will be very important to adapt spaces to new guidelines and sanitary recommendations, in order to make Client feel safe in the spaces they visit.

Through our office experience, gained in retail design for world-renowned chains in different sectors, here we share what we consider important reasons why to adapt retail businesses to the post Covid-19 era, as well as some points to consider about how to do it.

Why to make the change

  1. Physical experience is going to be a differentiating factor in an era where the convenience offered by online shopping has taken advantage. Once the conditions of social restrictions, product of the contingency of virus spread, have diminished, people will be eager to see something new, different and motivating.
  2. Invite people to test the quality of your products. Buying from the comfort of home implies almost an act of faith, because the client does not know for sure if what has acquired is exactly what is expected. This is a point in favor that must always be kept in mind when providing that consumer experience when visiting our stores.
  3. Generate human, direct and personalized connections. We must not forget that the experience on the site allows stimulation of the 5 senses and we must appeal to this in order to generate differentiation. Valuing our clients and making them feel valued is a very important point to consolidate a business relationship, and space should express it.
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To understand proper location of products, the right order, sequence and consumption behavior, are key aspects to define space and experience in Retail. La Estacion Dos Pinos, Multiplaza Curridabat. 2017. Designed by 10 84 Arquitectura. Photo credits: Adrian Aguilar G.

How to make the change

  1. Mix online shopping experience with in-store product recall. This allows the Client to approach that space that we have decided to build for him, so that he understands the product, the company and the support it provides, while collaborating with to improve these aspects, becoming an active participant.
  2. A greater incentive is required to just go to the mall or stores. The complement through activities that are useful for the client is essential. Focused classes, trainings and talks can become part of the menu.
  3. Solve problems, empathize, be company and give support. Find opportunities  that make possible to carry out these activities, in order to improve customer service. Apple Inc. understood the need to facilitate access to technology by breaking the myth that gadgets were difficult to use, and that troubles related to it were difficult to solve. For this reason, the brand implemented the Genius Bar in its stores, so that the customer can have personalized and efficient attention in solving their difficulties.
  4. The experience of visiting a physical location must be readable and easy to understand, just like the online experience. The purchasing elements, the customer journey and the legibility of the space should allow for its intuitive understanding. The correct location of products, maintaining order and defining the sequence of consumption are key aspects in this regard.
  5. Renew (with a clear purpose).  Costumer experience should be different from the one that existed before COVID-19, as this will allow to engage new customers and make the ones you have fall in love again, giving them something worth to know.
  6. Incorporate new behaviors that have arisen as a result of the management of the Pandemic, such as cleaning facilities during the visit, mitigation of possible infections, without this implying an increase in the area of ​​the premises or demeriting the experience.
  7. Coherence. You must know the product offered with clarity, its virtues and strengths. In the same way, it is necessary to define the right message to communicate it and create a coherent atmosphere to support the consumer experience, through the use of the appropriate materials, textures, colors, lighting and scale.
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Personalized attention broke the fear to access latest technology. Apple’s Genius Bar, Apple Store. Picture by Alper Cugun, taken from https://flic.kr/p/4PmipR

As expected, it is important that these points are part of a corporate strategy, in which all team members are involved, from the heads who run the business to those who directly serve the Client.

In addition, this strategy must be implemented, evaluated, improved and adapted to the conditions that arise, so that the consumer does not feel that it is just a simple reaction, but a genuine effort to improve business relationship and experience of consumption.

At the end, customer satisfaction is vital for the growth of any business.◼︎