In-Store Merchandising for the ADAPT-ed Retail Landscape

For a while during the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-store experience seemed like it might be gone for good. However, as we recently wrote, that experience isn’t gone — just changed.

And what hasn’t changed is the importance of having a strong in-store merchandising strategy and support.

In fact, in-store merchandising may be more important now than ever with physical distancing and social distancing guidelines still in place across the country.

Consider situations such as:

  • Prior to COVID-19, a customer may have felt comfortable asking a retail employee for help if a product wasn’t on the shelf. Now, they may feel uncomfortable getting close.
  • Prior to COVID-19, we had brand ambassadors in stores often and were able to hand out free samples and the like. Now, we must find new ways to share products with customers that don’t require face-to-face interaction, such as improved signage.
  • Speaking of signage, we’ve seen an increase in guidelines showing shoppers where to go in-store – what direction to walk down the aisle, how far apart to stand, and more. This could change how foot traffic is moving through the store, including where they spend their time.

A recent survey from PwC Consumer Intelligence found that the human touch still matters for retail. 17% of U.S. respondents said they would walk away from a company or product after just one bad experience. For 59%, it would take several bad experiences.

“Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience,” PwC wrote.

Even as the retail landscape shifts, these are still experiences that we can offer.

While the retail landscape is shifting, by staying on top of in-store merchandising and the customer experience we can ADAPT to that change.

What this might look like:

  • Continue to train staff on product and industry expertise.
  • Work on signage that shows more.
  • Eye-catching POP displays changed out frequently.
  • Products kept in-stock and on the shelf.
  • Reliable in-store data to understand the flow of foot traffic – where are people going, what areas of the store are they shopping in, and how is consumer behaviour changing?

This is one of the reasons we’ve re-launched the Marketsupport Canada website with an emphasis on ADAPT-able solutions for in-store and beyond.

While brands and retailers have been adapting throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so far, that is going to keep being necessary as re-opening restrictions are lifted. However, we don’t know what the full impact will be yet on the in-store experience. You need to be able to pivot and scale quickly in response to changing trends and consumer behaviours.

At retail, we can help your brand:

  • Ensure inventory levels are accurate, even if retailers are understaffed.
  • Put your products out on the shelf.
  • Keep accurate pricing and labelling information (such as noting if your product is made in Canada).
  • Implement new POP displays and signage.
  • Rethink planograms.
  • Conduct retail audits, including mystery shopping.
  • And much more.

With a field team of more than 500 people, we’re here to support you nationally from coast-to-coast.

Learn more about our ADAPT-able in-store merchandising solutions today. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.

What shifts have you seen in-store during COVID-19? Share with us on social media. Marketsupport Canada is on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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