Traditional retailers are no strangers to struggle; the arrival of large-scale eCommerce platforms in the last couple of decades has already forced dramatic changes in the industry. However, as we enter a post-Covid world, a new set of challenges that need to be addressed are beginning to set in. Retailers must create a store atmosphere that helps customers feel comfortable and safe while still maximizing the earnings per available space.
We will briefly touch on a few tips for remodeling in the post-Covid retail world. While this will not be a comprehensive deep dive on the topic, these items should be effective in helping you to see where your focus and attention should be.
Embrace the Power of Health-Focused Designs
The most obvious step towards a better post-pandemic storefront is embracing health-positive designs and materials. These materials help your business in several ways. The first and most prominent is that they help reduce the chances of either employees or customers spreading sickness in your store. We still live in a world where a Covid outbreak amongst employees can shut your store down and destroy any momentum you built with your customer base.
Air Filtration is Essential
Air filtration is perhaps the most significant change you can make for a healthier workplace. Proper HVAC systems, HEPA filters, and good air movement will significantly reduce airborne risks. This is often the suggested change for aging storefront locations.
Safer Materials and Touchless Tech
By focusing on using safer materials and implementing touchless technology whenever possible, you can reduce the chances of illness and optimize the customer experience with new features. These can be as simple as QR codes to website product pages, thermal scanning, or automated checkouts. By carefully working these changes into the look and feel of your store, you can ensure that these features feel natural and only add to the in-store environment.
Your bathrooms can also go in this direction with touchless faucets, soap dispensers, etc.
Partitions create a barrier between customers and employees, which has both positives and negatives. For employees that interact with large volumes of customers, this can be important for stopping an outbreak amongst the staff. However, overuse can make customers feel uncomfortable. Strike a balance with partitions that maximizes safety while waiting for a friendly atmosphere.
Stay on Top of Shifting Consumer Demands
Remodeling may also mean upgrading as more customers become accustomed to touchless technology and other forms of digital ease. Remember, while walk-in customers may prefer the “touch-and-feel” aspect of buying in a store, they are also becoming more used to consulting technology about everything from manufacturer details to sales prices. These changes already occurred before the pandemic, and the outbreak simply enhanced their spread.
Retailers must properly reach their customers’ desires and adapt the findings into how their space is designed. In the Post-Pandemic world, the concerns of customers have begun to shift.
Pay close attention to how your customers are behaving, and make sure you are responding accordingly to these changing patterns. Stay on top of gathering feedback and asking for opinions regarding your services and areas that can be improved or changed.
The design of your store plays a significant role in how well you implement certain features. Pay close attention to research and best practices on these topics as it is a constantly shifting environment.
As you begin to implement options that more customers request, like curbside pickup, incorporate careful design choices that make these options easy for your customers to find and use. A few simple design improvements in critical locations can make for immense change when it comes to customer perceptions and satisfaction.
Small Changes Can Have Big Results
Covid has had an enormous impact on our lives in many ways. For your retail space, use these shifts as an opportunity to reinvent and strengthen your customers’ experience.
Designing a space that maximizes customer safety and your ability to make sales is a challenging prospect but one that has become much more manageable and scientifically understood in recent years. With the right experts in your corner, you can effectively rebrand, renovate, restore, and remodel with ease. When done correctly, ultimately, your customers and your bottom line will be happy with the results.