COVID-19 served as an accelerant for many long-standing retail trends, but one area where the pandemic actually put on the brakes was experiential retail. Now, however, as the pandemic wanes and shoppers begin to return to stores not just for function but for fun, a new era of omnichannel retail is set to emerge.
Success in the “New Normal” will be characterized by a merging of the digital innovations that advanced so rapidly during the pandemic, aligned with the experiential, tactile elements that have always made in-store shopping a singular experience. This Retail TouchPoints Special Report examines the tactics and consumer insights that will be crucial to getting it right, including:
- Recognizing a growing duality between functional and experiential shopping, and catering to both kinds of customer journey, as Target has done;
- Integrating the mobile phone into every aspect of the shopping experience to create true omnichannel environments, as Walmart is attempting with its latest store redesign; and
- Creating 360-degree environments that drive long-term brand affinity and offer reasons for consumers to return, even if those reasons aren’t directly tied to revenue, as Macy’s is looking to do at its Herald Square flagship.
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