The UK is now months into its third – and hopefully final – national lockdown, where all non-essential shops have been instructed to shut.
Non-essential shops have all been closed since January 6, with the hospitality sector also shut aside from takeaway services.
In accordance with the UK government’s roadmap out of lockdown, April 12 should signal the re-opening of ‘non-essential retail’ venues, aside from Northern Ireland, where non-essential retailers will only be able to restart click and collect services.
Shoppers will have been restricted to essential supermarkets and online shopping for over three months by the time those doors re-open. A lot of people are missing their shopping experience.
They’ll miss browsing around their favourite shops at their favourite centres, looking at physical products rather than judging them on digital screens. Some will be missing that catch up with their fellow shoppers at the local cafés, and most importantly, they’ll be missing engaging with the friendly staff in their favourite shops.
We are social beings with a great need for encounters and experiences – the endless months of working from home and social distancing have brought this to our senses. Letting loose with happiness and excitement when the delivery rings with your parcel? That was once upon a time.
Opening a box is no longer something special. With every lockdown extension, consumers have grown hungrier for what used to be called the shopping experience. Meeting people, experiencing products, seeing and being seen.
There is great magic surrounding the moment when shops will open. It is now up to the retail industry to take advantage of this unique opportunity by offering what no online shop can offer: the human factor as a unique selling point.
Approach instead of waiting; innovative businesses will bring themselves to the forefront now and build a new closeness from a distance.
They keep their customers updated on company news, product ranges and general information through engagement channels like direct mail, email, social media or newsletters and about the hope of real encounters soon.
Some will insert an incentive for customers through vouchers, re-opening events and raffle prizes and subsequently increase the common anticipation of meeting in the store.
Péarlaí can provide the software to help you do this. We’ll bring your centre and stores to the forefront from a safe distance.
Our platform enables you to engage with shoppers through personalised text messages, informing them about the latest discounts, offers and products available in-store.
Impressively, the platform has for the last 2 years generated an average conversion rate of 27% for current clients through customers entering a store after receiving an SMS alert.
There’s indisputable evidence that Péarlaí delivers, and it may be the missing piece of the puzzle that will help your retail business recover after a long spell in lockdown.