As we design next-generation pick-up and delivery experiences for retail, fast-food experiences can serve up inspiration. Ideas such as pre-populated fitting rooms based on consumers’ online carts or secure, 24-hour pick-up lockers could be the answer for some.
In addition to optimizing pick-up and delivery, retailers should consider updates to their in-store wayfinding and communications with solutions such as mobile content designed for in-store browsing and selection. These are how we’ll make shopping easy and seamless for the consumer.
As retail continues to reinvent itself, and brick-and-mortar plays an important role in the industry. In June 2022, department stores’ foot traffic rose 5.8% from the previous month, according to Placer.ai, showing consumers are heading back to stores because they know what to expect shopping and want the in-person shopping experience. According to Big Red Rooster research, instant gratification is one of the top reasons consumers choose to go to brick-and-mortar stores.
While companies like Amazon and Instacart provide same- or next-day delivery, customers still express the desire to go into physical stores. You know what to expect at the store, and there’s a certain level of control that consumers crave – a level that’s not necessarily available through online retailers. At the store, consumers can pick the bananas they want or try on the shoes before they buy.
Retail should continue to be experiential, and retailers need to think more closely about consumer expectations and where they’re being set. It’s not just about what your competition is doing anymore; consumer expectations are being set all around us, and restaurants are leading the way. It’s time for specialty retailers to take note or risk falling further behind.
As we conceive of what’s next for specialty retail, in both experience design and format strategies, consideration should be placed on ideas that have been championed and popularized by QSRs. Consumers are especially open to ideas that relieve pain points around the browsing, purchasing and pick-up phases of the journey.
Communication is key and staying community-curious will help you to stay in sync with your consumers’ wants and needs, keeping your brand relevant and top-of-mind. Think pop-up shops and creative partnerships in malls and shopping centers that bring the community together. The retail experience has yet another opportunity to reinvent itself, with togetherness at its core. In addition to baseline expectations around speed and convenience.
At Big Red Rooster, we frequently conduct competitive audits, and that’s not going to change. However, we have also become continuous students of retail, analyzing the consumer experience every single time we are in a brick-and-mortar environment, whether with our clients, for our prospects or just going about our day-to-day lives. I encourage you to open your aperture and do the same.