The pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits that will continue to impact the retail experience in 2022 and years to come. Retailers and brands will continue to address consumer comfortability and habits formed around retail visits, navigation, safety, product choice and purchase behaviors. They’ve discovered that both in-store and online experiences are critical for winning in today’s retail environment.
While consumers increasingly return to retail stores, retailers, brands and Vanguard are finding ways to make a lasting impression by creating in-store experiences more impactful and targeted to specific shoppers and their habits. Here are a few emerging trends surrounding the retail experience.
Omnichannel Reshapes the Retail Experience.
Omnichannel played a meaningful role when stores were forced to limit in-person shopping. Online ordering and curbside pickup became a must for many consumers. As we move beyond the pandemic, it will be important for retailers and brands to build their omnichannel abilities. By blurring online and offline shopping experiences, retailers and brands can meet consumer needs along every possible channel – in-store, online, or a mix of both.
The use of technology on displays or packaging can help engage shoppers. An example is QR codes which have made a comeback since the pandemic. Vanguard is incorporating QR codes, on more promotional headers and side panels. This allows shoppers to move seamlessly from offline to online within a display. This is just one example that provides an opportunity to create a consistent brand story with in-store displays, retail packaging and on e-commerce boxes. Vanguard is also leveraging Digimarc technology and Augmented Reality to assist in the shopping experience.
Creating Simple and Relevant In-Store Experiences.
Though consumers have fully embraced online shopping, shoppers still prefer in-person retail experiences. Research shows that if a retailer gives them a positive experience, or even a memory to walk away with, the likelihood of those shoppers returning increases to 90 percent.
As online shopping and influencers increase, retailers and brands are designing store environments to encourage shoppers to post their experiences on social media and promote the retailers’ products. Vanguard sees opportunity for brands and retailers to use displays and packaging to create a backdrop for selfies. We also see the trend of minimalistic merchandising continuing. Retailers and brands can differentiate the shopping experience with more simple, inspiring, and experiential displays. Vanguard has the ability to test and learn designs to leverage research data on new design retail activations to help ensure a successful in-store promotion that attracts, engages and converts shoppers.
Finally, wayfinding can lead shoppers through the experience. The pandemic has increased shopper awareness to signage. Retailers and brands can guide shoppers through the store with signage that makes it easy for shoppers to navigate the in-person shopping experience on their own. When combined with pleasing visuals and signage, wayfinding enhances the overall shopping experience.
Leveraging Personalized Experiences.
80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. Curated displays and packaging can provide customers with a single place to find related items from multiple manufacturers to
personalize their selection, satisfy occasion need, and help navigate the stores quicker. Vanguard’s expertise in multi-brand displays and packaging can not only help shoppers quickly find what they need but mimics the ease and variety of their personal shopping online experience.