Speed, the new need!

Visual Merchandising and Retail Design|July 2020

Speed, the new need!
Given the high need for safety today, efficiency in terms of time and effort involved is the top priority in shopping, transforming instore shopping missions from ‘leisure browsing’ to ‘purposeful searching’. This in turn redefines visual merchandising and store planning practices. Surender Gnanaolivu explains how.
Surender Gnanaolivu

The lockdown has significantly changed the way people think, prioritize, and act in their daily lives in the new normal. The hierarchy of needs, defined by Maslow, has been turned on its head now, led by the humble physiological needs for essentials. Though essentials are topping shopping lists in all homes, the onset of lockdown 4.0 has brought non-essential retail, both offline and online, into consideration once again. Reopened stores are giving retailers a firsthand sense of the behavior of the unlocked customers venturing out to shop for non-essentials. A common observation is a change in their shopping missions from ‘leisure browsing’ to ‘purposeful searching’ in shopping journeys that are now less frequent, with higher conversions, fulfilled with larger baskets and purchased in lower dwell time inside the store. This clearly reveals that the key engine powering customer fulfillment is efficiency in the use of time and effort in quickly finding, evaluating, and making an informed decision influencing purchase.

A collaboration of store planning, visual merchandising, technology, and data science can play the role of the enabler in delivering this expectation of a quicker shopping journey. Insights from data, such as traffic analytics, sales mix, basket analysis and channel revenue share, help predict customer expectations and curate efficient and predictive shopping journeys that optimize consumers’ time and effort instore.

Here are a few successful store planning and visual merchandising strategies that can be interpreted in relevance to today’s need for speed in store environments.

Set the stage for speed

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July 2020