Face to face or Online?
When asked about the future retail experience that was planned for consumers, 71% of respondents stated that their stores would be more focused on delivering a brand experience in the future. We also asked whether there would be changes in the number of customers coming to shop in-store, and whether online retailing would further increase. Those asked said that they thought there would still be face to face interactions (58%) and these included pick-ups from store with click and collect. In contrast, 80% thought that online retailing would continue to grow. 71% of those asked also thought that omnichannel would continue to be the main focus for their business moving ahead.
When it came to future competition, 42% said they thought there would be no difference from before lockdown. However, 28% of those asked thought there would be more competition from independent stores and community or bespoke markets in the future.
Alice van der Westen, Worldpack’s Business Development Manager, says: “As stores open after the Coronavirus lockdown, we can see that for many, thankfully the return to normality is happening quickly and smoothly. The biggest consideration for retailers is implementing safety guidelines without ruining the shopper’s in-store experience. They also need to put things in place that enables them to remain flexible in case of a second wave when further guidance and restrictions could come into play.
“For many, the break has given them time to reflect on what a store could offer in terms of architecture and layout. For innovative brands, there are opportunities for them to show their creativity in finding a solution, and in turn, inventing a whole new experience.”
Sustainability still matters
When asked about sustainability, the majority of businesses stated that this had been high on their list of concerns before lockdown. 100% of respondents asked confirmed that sustainability and eco products/packaging would be still be a major focus when ‘normality’ resumes, while over two thirds of those asked thought the environment would remain a key issue for consumers.
Alice adds: “It’s great that sustainability has remained high on the agenda and retailers are carrying on the good work started before the Coronavirus pandemic broke. For retailers who could do with some assistance in getting in eco-shape, we can help with advice and strategy as part of our Service with Guts mission.”
The biggest challenges that retailers thought they would face post Covid-19 included cashflow/lack of revenue from shutdown (71%), staffing and redundancies (71%), store refits and customer safety (71%) and changes in technology (57%). These were followed by changing consumer needs (42%). 70% of respondents thought that meeting supply needs and the supply of products could be a future issue.
On the whole, the companies asked felt they were agile and able to deal with changes well and all considered this key to how well they had adapted to recent challenges. 83% felt that Worldpack’s flexibility had been part of their own successful adaptability during the Coronavirus pandemic so far.
When asked what qualities Worldpack had, 83% of respondents stated its understanding of its customers’ short and long-term goals, its customer service (66%) and its ability to listen (66%). These were closely followed by flexibility, openness, positivity and proactivity.
To find out more, contact us on +31(0) 88 494 20 80, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to be inspired, read our interview with Marcea Van Doorn, Sustainability Manager at Worldpack’s parent company Bunzl.