Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of RetailMinded.com, a well-respected retail industry resource that has been recognized worldwide for its leading business insight since 2007. With a core concentration on independent retailers, small businesses, technology and how the various touchpoints of commerce influence modern merchants. Nicole is the author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill and she has been recognized within the top 10 out 100 worldwide retail thought leaders since 2015.
What do you think the post-COVID retail landscape will look like?
I think consumers are ready for heightened, in-store experiences but will still shop online. Getting them back to physical stores will not be easy for some yet for others, customers are ready to shop in-person again simply because they’ve missed these interactive experiences. To help boost retail post COVID, I think merchants small and large a like need to cater to customer care, expectations and experiences.
Consumers are ready for heightened, in-store experiences but will still shop online
What will be the biggest problem or weakness that the physical store has to deal with?
Customers have always varied, but more so than ever retailers will need to be aware of how customers may vary in their preference to shop in-store as a direct result to COVID. Offering experiences that have limited people involved, providing clear signage to direct customers on social distancing and other in-store COVID best practices and providing opportunities to make purchases from physical stores but not in them directly should all be considered.
Technology is a huge advantage for consumers post COVID
How will technology help us in the future?
Technology is a huge advantage for consumers post COVID. COVID gave customers time to explore new retailers online, new ways to shop in general and new thoughts on what matters most to them when making purchasing decisions. Among these ways included technology from all touchpoints of their shopping destination.