5 Important Store Refresh Best Practices For Retailers to Achieve Success in 2022Stay Relevant , improve customer experience and optimize omnichannel operations
Retailers have shown remarkable success and resilience since the beginning of the COVID outbreak, and brick-and-mortar stores are still expected to be about 72% of US retail sales in 2022 according to recent research from Forrester. However, Covid created a significant shift in behavior, forcing retailers to make changes to their brick-and-mortar outlets to ensure repeat purchase and optimum omnichannel experience for consumers who have increasingly become tech-savvy, environmentally conscious, and channel-agnostic. In fact, consumers returning to physical stores are looking for an enhanced experience, less friction, and a richer more integrated experience.
Below are the 5 store refresh best practices to ensure your retail stores are redesigned to improve the consumer experience, as well as optimize the omnichannel operation to keep your stores relevant in successful in 2022:
Reassure Shoppers that You’re Keeping them Healthy
Your stores need to have signage at the front of the store, throughout the store, the back of the store, online, on social platforms, and your app to reassure consumers that they are entering a safe, clean environment.
Also, any existing signage created at the beginning of the pandemic needs to be refreshed, either because the content changed or because they are worn out. The messaging surrounding COVID has changed over the last two years, so make sure your signage reflects the most current sentiments.
Retailers Need To Be Bold. Rethink Your Format Completely to Engage with Consumers
As shoppers get back into the habit of shopping in person, they’re going to be looking for new ideas. As a retailer, to stay relevant, you’ve got to think of new ways to re-engage shoppers. For instance, Dollar General is opening a new line of “pop retail” locations that cater to a new, suburban audience with a different product offering. Toys Rus is planning to open new locations within Macy’s locations to re-establish a retail presence.
Even re-thinking exiting locations can be the difference between engaging customers and losing them. Stores like Dick’s sporting goods offer things like indoor rock climbing walls to bring customers in and keep them entertained. Grocery stores are offering micro fulfillment centers to make shopping faster and easier. There are always new ideas and options, taking advantage of them is up to you.
Store Refresh: Improve the Aesthetics of your Existing Locations.
When considering consumer habits, it’s important to consider the “10-second rule”. Consumers have more choices than ever and shopping behaviors during the pandemic have shown that consumers are less loyal and more prone to switching brands. A good rule of thumb is to create a visual environment that will wow the consumers within the first 10 seconds of them walking into your stores. This is the length of time that retailers have to create a shopping experience where the consumers become engaged and are ready to purchase your products.
Offer Clear Signage with Strong Visual Elements
Consumer’s eyes are the gateway to their wallets. For retailers to make a connection, they need to focus on colorful, elevated, and engaging displays to direct consumers to products they showcase. Signage can also keep your inventory in sync with seasonal events in order to remain relevant and better connect with the consumers’ needs for things like Valentine’s day, The Super Bowl, Mother’s day, etc.
Adhere to Strict Retailers Corporate Social Responsibilities and Communicate Achievements
Consumers increasingly support brands that share their environmental and social concerns, according to GreenPrint 2021Sustainability Survey:
“77% of Americans are concerned about the environmental impact of products they buy.”
78% of people are more likely to purchase a product that is clearly labeled as environmentally friendly.
The study also concludes
“Companies must build trust and loyalty by clearly demonstrating that they share environmental goals with their customers. Defending and preserving our planet is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business. Companies that are able to navigate the business of sustainability will be best positioned for future success.”
Examples of sustainability initiative communications the retailers can implement as part of their store refresh initiatives include:
- Talk about your landfill diversion goals and achievements
- Talk about how your return program is designed in an eco-centric way
- Talk about how you invest in your workforce
- Participate in community projects
Giving back and being more responsible with your practices doesn’t just help the world, it can also increase your sales. However, consumers are wary of greenwashing and will see through propaganda.
A few tips to help reduce the cost of a store refresh or remodel
Retailers are being asked to undergo rapid and extensive operation restructuration, remodeling, and store refresh chain-wide. All of which will create a lot of waste and incur escalating costs if not managed carefully. However, there are a few best practices that retailers can apply to reduce the financial cost and environmental impact of their reinvention process:
Just because a product looks tired or passed its prime to you, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any value. Reselling and inventory liquidation options always exist.
While cleaning a store down to its shell, ripping all the fixtures to start fresh will provide the most flexibility, it does not mean that everything needs to end up in the landfill. Shelves, fixtures, pergolas, flooring, cooling, cooking equipment, lighting…. All have value and can be resold, repaired, reused, recycled, or even donated. Landfilling them is a not only expensive but excessively inefficient use of material.
1GNITE specializes in asset recovery and can get rid of everything while reducing your overall remodeling bill. That means more money to spend on a fresh in-store experience and a fantastic, authentic story to tell your consumers who will feel good about shopping with an eco-responsible brand.
Retailers who are investing in renovating and reinventing their stores to create an authentic, seamless, personalized, and integrated shopping experience will gain success in 2022 and secure a competitive edge. 1GNITE helps retailers streamline chain-wide renovations, store refresh initiatives while and reduce both cost and environmental footprints. We are ready to help you too. Contact us today.
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