There’s no doubt that the world of international retail has changed beyond recognition with the space of ten months. With travels plans and global expansion seeming to not have a tangible solution in sight, many brands have begun to focus their efforts on a much more local horizon. Physical retail still seems to be in a hesitant no man’s land state – but what ways can brands implement a localised benefit in an omnichannel perspective?
The way in which we shop has certainly changed for the foreseeable future, with very few opting to take a trip out shopping as a main focus. Brands have had to seek new ways to utilise the customer base they already have as well as finding new ones completely – lunchtime dawdlers, passers-by on their way home from work. Many are choosing to stay within their own local areas rather than heading to a high-profile shopping destination or outlet, prompting the question of how brands can reach out to those in specific areas. One way to effectively achieve this could be to partner with another brand that has prominence in a different retail sector. A popular choice is supermarkets, allowing consumers to consolidate their shopping trips in one space. Many brands have historically done this (such as within the beauty industry) but now is an opportune time to capitalise on the benefits. Being able to stay true to your own brand’s identity is key, but there are plenty of chances to grow in a completely new demographic (for example, matching clothing brands to homeware).
The same effect can also be achieved within a brand itself, providing the option of a total package rather than lead your customer’s eye elsewhere. While the weather still holds, brands can also use local outside space to their advantage, with pop-up stores being a traditionally successful method of reaching those on a smaller scale. Local efforts and personalisation can also go hand in hand, making the most of going out of the way to connect with a consumer while foot traffic is falling. This doesn’t have to be in a physical form either – digital marketing campaigns can incorporate this level of localised personalisation, tailoring emails to different post codes, picking out local trends to blend with what a brand can offer. This could also be a key time to play with what can be achieved physically while landlords are more flexible, with potential opportunities for more short-term leases. Local communities might currently seem like a world away, but utilising physical and digital methods to connect could provide long-term loyalty and open new doors in a time when many feel firmly shut.
Image source: retaildesignblog.net