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Rethinking Retail Outlets Is Urgent, According To Consumers

Retail outlets – especially small businesses – are increasingly threatened by the rise of e-commerce, favoured by successive lockdowns. This change in consumer purchasing habits is very real.

The latest OpinionWay survey for Oney Bank, from October 2020, demonstrates the urgency of reinventing physical outlets to meet citizens’ expectations.

Consumers’ New Purchasing Habits

covid not helping retail outlets

The economic and health crisis has profoundly changed the purchasing paths and behaviours of citizens – without condemning local businesses.

What The Crisis Has Changed In Consumer Behaviour

Drive and e-commerce have largely gathered new followers during the first quarantine, from 5 million monthly buyers to 7.4 million in the first month of travel restrictions (Nielsen study, conducted in partnership with the Federation of e-commerce and distance sales, Fevad).

Indeed, and more generally, online sales have many advantages for consumers:

  • 46% of respondents highlight a travel economy
  • For 42% of respondents, easy access to promotional offers is also an asset
  • Other practical reasons follow: no queue in store for 41% of the sample, the possibility to buy 24/7 without worrying about opening hours… As well as, in the context of a health crisis, the possibility of limiting the risk of contamination by staying at home.

Retail Outlets Remain Preferred In Some Cases

retail store, retail outlets and the importance of feedback

The Study by OpinionWay highlights differences in consumers’ purchasing preferences depending on the product they want to buy.

Purchases related to health issues, or food type for example, are made in the majority of cases in physics. At issue is the desire to see, to touch the product “in real life”, or to benefit from personalized advice.

In fact, 91% of respondents believe that the presence of in-store advisors is important. It is even essential for more than half of the group surveyed. Similarly, almost half of those surveyed felt that it was better to buy clothes in a shop (49%).

Faced with this observation, how can we get consumers back into the stores? Or how to offer them a better shopping experience?

Ways Of Improvement: Online Reputation Management And Digitalization

Consumers Compare Online Products And Services Before Purchase

Consumers are becoming more self-reliant in their purchasing decisions. They do their research, evaluate, compare. They want the best product, at the best price, and we can’t blame them!

How do they make sure they choose your products over competition?

Here, everything will be played on your online reputation. Do you have good reviews? Very good ones? Are you active and followed on social networks? Do you have a professional website?

The collection of reviews and satisfaction surveys conducted by I Feedback Now can help you run a campaign to build or improve your online reputation. Click here to learn more !

But once the product is selected, how do you get your customer to buy it in your physical store, not online?

Offer A Unique Shopping Experience In Retail Outlets

Here are several ideas to make a difference, and encourage shopping in your physical business rather than on an online platform:

  • Offering more digital services: online services have many advantages such as Click and Collect, immediate payment or multiple times, payment by PayPal, cashback… Why not take inspiration from them and share these in-store services with your customers?
  • Don’t underestimate the human dimension: a warm welcome and wise advice are better than 1000 chatbots 😉
  • Highlighting the ethical aspect: 40% of respondents want a so-called “responsible” payment solution. For example, a rounding of the amount to be paid to an association, the assessment of the carbon footprint of the purchase, an effort on the packaging within the shop (recyclable paper bags)…
  • Assess your efforts! Once you’ve implemented your new strategy, ask your customers what they think, and make the necessary adjustments through, for example, a review collection kiosk.

So, ready to change your habits and transform your small business to increase your sales? Please contact us for further enquiries!

The JDMA Editorial.

Source: OpinionWay survey for Oney Bank, conducted among a sample of 1049 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over, in October 2020.