Can you feel it? What do you ask? The excitement of summer, and America opening back up… In fact, this pent-up, post-covid desire to get back out there is forecast to increase in-store retail sales, though the question remains as to what degree as opposed to years past. With that being said, before the pandemic, more than 80% of folks enjoyed in-store events, from sales and demos to launch parties and competitions, and there’s no motive to think they won’t return to at least some of their old behaviors when it feels safe to do so.
In reality, shopping in person remains the way most folks prefer to buy. According to the National Retail Federation, the huge majority of Baby Boomers usually make less than half their consumption online (even with COVID-19 reflected).
For younger groups, the capability to tune out social media for a while with a tangible experience is a large reason they shop in person. Keep in mind though, the meaning of “in-store” may be changing forever as individuals find out they like some of the workarounds brands have put in place during the pandemic.
The in-store setting
The popularity of digital kiosks has hit the roof during the pandemic as brands look for ways to deliver the service consumers expect in a socially distanced, low-touch atmosphere.
Buy online, pick up in-store (also known to some as BOPIS) got a big improvement from the pandemic as customers turned to online shopping to circumvent lingering in stores. “Lingering” is the active word here. More than half of shoppers still go inside the store to pick up their products, and about a third would rather do curbside pickup. That’s a wonderful chance for store owners and brands to connect with shoppers.
Digital kiosks save time
Today’s digital kiosks feature numerous time-saving benefits. Credit and debit cards, along with iPay technologies, can be used to buy right at the kiosk, whether folks are picking up pre-orders, bringing objects to the “register” or asking for associate fetch products for them. Many of these digital kiosks come with receipt printers, barcode readers, and even top-mounted cameras that enable personal interaction with store reps.
Jabil’s 2020 survey of retail decision-makers report that half of today’s retail brands are already applying or are considering digital kiosks as a way to engage buyers, increase the customer experience, and lift sales — even for high-end goods. As you’re planning how best to invest in your storefront, a kiosk can provide a tailored experience at a portion of the cost of a new location, more square footage, or more workers.