Wednesday, January 26, 2022

How retailers bring shoppers back to stores

Some retailers have taken a more personalized approach. At London’s upscale department store Selfridges, shoppers can choose from a variety of activities hosted by an “experienced concierge”, including wine and food tastings, glow sessions and even skateboarding lessons.

Online stores that have recognized this trend have also ventured into the offline space. For example, e-commerce retailer Lazada opened a pop-up physical store in Singapore to offer homeowner-focused retail. The store served as a smart home integration showroom where all products could be purchased on the Lazada app.

To complement its online business, fashion retailer Love, Bonito has also opened physical stores with social media-ready photophones, an express counter for e-commerce orders, and on-demand personal stylists to enhance the retail experience.

Regardless of a brand’s in-store or online offerings, Gen Z consumers expect reliability and consistency, whether they’re shopping in-store, through an app, or on a website, according to IBM research. According to the JLL Asia Pacific Outlook 2022 report, this means that retailers who successfully use technology to integrate the offline and online worlds into a unified retail experience will gain a competitive advantage.

Key to success in post-pandemic recovery

Better in-store service will fuel a retail renaissance, but the success of the concept ultimately depends on the recovery from the pandemic, says Roddy Allan, chief scientist at JLL Asia Pacific.

For example, in the Asia-Pacific region, he notes that business sentiment in some markets remains subdued due to restrictions, including social distancing measures, mandatory quarantine requirements and a limited number of international tourists.

However, he believes there is reason for optimism.

“Raising vaccination rates and easing pandemic-related travel restrictions will help the market recover, although the threat of potential future outbreaks still remains,” says Allan.

Nation World News Desk
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