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In the Short-Term…

From social distancing signs and one-way only aisles to plexiglass partitions at checkouts and closed fitting rooms, retailers have been quick to adapt their in-store environments in response to the crisis. Here are some recommendations on what other actions retailers can take now to inspire trust and confidence in shoppers. Justin Hill — Principal, MG2 Focus on making shopping fun. Messaging should be in your voice, not simply clinical instructions. Graphics and signage can be encouraging while also informative. Look to create smiles and surprises along the journey. Also, iron out the kinks in your BOPIS and curbside pick-up systems. Joseph Nevin — Big Red Rooster Right now, it’s all about providing visual cues that reinforce retailers’ commitment to safe shopping environments. It’s not enough to tell shoppers what you’re doing — they need to see how the measures are actively being implemented in order to feel comfortable and develop a strong sense of loyalty. Editing assortments and lightening the sales floor to provide an open, intuitive space will be key in retailers’ expressing their editorial point of view across the store environment, products, and experience to secure confidence and credibility with their customers.

• Look for high-impact areas within the store to transform through materials, fixtures and messaging. These smaller reinventions will still create a freshness that will leave a lasting impression on the customer. Ken Nisch — JGA First, they need to take care of their staff and make sure they are healthy, equipped to stay healthy and help keep their guests healthy as staff confidence and satisfaction is the first line of communication to guests. Simple logistics such as flow control, distancing, and separation will be even more scrutinized by guests. Emily Albright Miller — VP, Strategy & Insights, Big Red Rooster The most salient needs that retailers should adjust to now are the consumers’ need to protect their personal space and avoid unnecessary contact with people and things. This requires retailers to rethink traffic patterns inside and outside of their stores, to embrace outdoor spaces, and to optimize for a completely touch-free journey. Through the implementation of any new solutions, it’s critical that retailers empower the consumer and make them feel in control. The more in control they feel the more likely they will be to spend again.

Melisssa Gonzalez — CEO/Founder, The Lionesque Group; Partner/Stakeholder, MG2 Utilize clear signage, but don’t forget about brand voice — layer in soothing and comforting tones and elements with instruction copy. Have a queuing management system in place (for both curbside and in-store transactions) and leverage technology to power touch-free interactions.


Jamie Cornelius — ChangeUp In the short-term, look at the current design and rethink how to break down barriers to put shoppers at ease:


•K  eep the exterior and entry moment clean with clear messaging. This first impression will set the stage for the customer’s shopping experience. •M  ake the space feel larger and open. Take out fixtures and declutter, but also give shoppers signals of cleanliness — transform sanitizing from a must-do task for employees into a positive, memorable moment for the customer.



• Use digital interactions to be transparent with customers about how busy the store is and great times to come in. Is there a way you can make your business more appointment-based? • New in-store signage is going to be essential, but don’t become overly reliant on it. Be sure to not program shoppers to go on autopilot while in the store. Instead, make their experience a breath of fresh air and remind them of the joy of shopping.


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CSA - May/June 2020  

CSA - May/June 2020  

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