Chanel Scales is a Retail Coach, Visual Merchandiser and Retail Store Opening Expert with 18 years of experience. For Chanel, who is very optimistic about the future of retail sector, “this is the time to create relationships with customers, and provide them with elevated customer service”.
What do you think the post-COVID retail landscape will look like?
Online shopping will evolve and retailers will become creative in finding ways to engage with their customers. Social media will become more interactive and shopper friendly. Customers will expect retailers to have websites with detailed information, quick shipping options and the ability to communicate with them through dms and messenger.
I believe the problem will be attracting foot traffic
Storefronts need to focus on hiring visual merchandisers that are creative and passionate, and excited about highlighting styled vs dressed mannequins and window displays that will intrigue their customers to walk into the store. Visual merchandising has always been the #1 key to catch attention from those that are simply walking by. I also think brands should invest in athleisure and tech products and find a way to include it with the items or garments that they’re currently selling.
What will be the biggest problem or weakness that the physical store have to deal with?
I believe the problem will be attracting foot traffic. Storefronts need to offer incentives and products that can’t be purchased online. Covid has pushed the consumers to become trustworthy with online shopping and the fast delivery of their products. When Covid took over the world and forced physical storefronts to shut down, these retailers had no choice but to pivot and focus on their online and social media presence. I also believe another problem will be the lack of communication and assisting customers due to the safety and uncomfortability when it comes to the fear of catching Covid.
Covid has pushed the consumers to become trustworthy with online shopping
What role will technology play?
Technology is playing a huge role in retail. It has allowed retailers to understand their consumers better and provide them with a streamlined experience. Retailers will constantly be looking for innovative ways to connect and provide their customers with the best shopping experience through their ecommerce platforms. One of the many things that storefronts still have to offer is fitting rooms, but with technology they are finding ways to offer a virtual fitting room. Live streaming is also becoming a top technology feature for retailers, because they can have their consumers turn their social media interest into an interactive shopping experience allowing them to see and have a better understanding about the garments, styling and etc.
How will customer loyalty be achieved?
Customer loyalty is achieved when Retail locations focus on the EXPERIENCE and CUSTOMER SERVICE aspect of their businesses. You have to give consumers a reason to walk through your doors. Oftentimes, many retailers assume that customer service is greeting and offering help. But it’s deeper than that. Customer service is the flow of your store, cleanliness, merchandising, product knowledge and making the shopping experience easy and enjoyable.
When a customer comes to your store they should be intrigued by the displays, smell, music and overall presentation of the store. The last impression of their shopping experience will always bring them back. Sidenote, for the small business owners- Customer capture and creating customer profiles within the POS SYSTEM will allow you to keep up with special days, style, size and preferences This will allow you to reach out when new product arrives etc. It lets your customer know you’re listening to their needs and wants.
The last impression of their shopping experience will always bring them back
Are you optimistic about the future of retail?
I’m very optimistic about retail, however I believe this is the best time for small business retailers to capitalize and create one of a kind in store experiences. This is the time to create relationships with customers, and provide them with elevated customer service. I also believe the future of retail will become more digitized, therefore retailers will need to be more informed on product knowledge and the best way to display the visual aspects of their business.
I believe this is the best time for small business retailers to capitalize and create one of a kind in store experiences
What do you think about our Flame analytics tool?
I think it’s straightforward and provides detailed information for those within the storefront space. Small businesses that have opened storefronts but lack retail experience will be able to utilize the data and resources that Flame provides. Many of my clients are in total shock when it comes to the overall structure of opening a storefront correctly and efficiently. I would highly recommend it as a tool to elevate your mindset and retail business.
Thank you 🙂