The Coronavirus has come to completely change consumer behaviour. The fear associated with the risks of contamination led to an increase in online shopping compared to trips to physical stores, but we should also stress the increase in the search for proximity solutions.
During the period of adaptation to life in quarantine, our priorities naturally changed. Securing food stocks with an extended expiration date that can be kept for longer periods has taken a higher priority level, reveals a study by Nielsen, American information, data and measurement company.
The same report also revealed new important indicators of retail in terms of chosen stores’ typology. It shows that the most suspicious and fearful consumers prefer to make quick trips closer to home, avoiding unnecessary ones. It is also interesting that the “available online shopping platforms, especially for groceries, medicines, and other necessary items, have seen a surge in usage over the last few weeks as consumers prefer not to venture into stores and have increasingly opted for these reduced touchpoint alternatives,” says Gareth Paterson, Associate Director and Vertical Retailer for Nielsen South Africa.
Facing the current situation and given the fact that the deconfinement phase has already begun, establishments and large surfaces that bring together a great number of people, such as large stores, shopping centres, supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants or public services are already tackling some changes in what controlling their capacity is concerned. These will ensure the safety conditions for both workers and customers. It is estimated that these types of establishments’ capacity will be reduced by 20% up to 40% as a preventive measure during the upcoming months.
This reflects adaptation requirements for establishments that have already been authorized to reopen. Many of them are already implementing extensive safety measures, such as reducing operating hours, disinfecting sale points, the minimum distance required between people, making the usage of a mask and gloves inside mandatory, and limiting capacity.
Controlling the capacity will be one of the first measures to be applied by retailers in order to ensure the minimum safety distance between people by implementing a system of entry and exit control. The purpose of the SISQUAL Footfall module is exactly this, the system allows you to know how many people are inside an establishment, monitors the behaviour of in-store visitors and provides cross data with employee performance. The people counters can be installed anywhere, from kiosks to shops, departments, bars, among others. Thus, besides solving a problem effectively, it is also a very useful management and marketing tool.
From these premises, we may be going to watch two movements: on the one hand, the growth of online shopping rather than shopping at physical stores, for fear of contamination. And, on the other hand, the traditional retail adaptation both to the public (their concerns and desires) and to the legal impositions of a post-covid19 world.
Written by Cristina Meireles
Cristina Meireles has a special interest in marketing, psychology, HR and Employer Branding. She has found in WFM a way to improve the quality of life and productivity of employees, being a strong ally in motivational campaigns. She has a degree in Languages and Business Relations from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto and is currently attending the masters in digital marketing from ISCAP.