Shoppers Are Returning to Physical Stores: How do You Make Sure They Return to Yours?


Shoppers are returning to physical stores in the wake of Covid-19, but how can you ensure they return to yours. We're taking a look at how shoppers are moving from digital stores back to shopping at physical stores and sharing tips on how to get them back to yours.


Why shoppers return to physical stores after Covid-19

In a recent survey of 6,863 shoppers, to understand why they are returning to stores post Covid-19. Over half said they are likely to become more regular shoppers after the new year. Shoppers are returning to physical stores primarily for the experience, the enjoyment of being out and doing an activity. Many want to have the tactile experience of touching and holding a product in hand rather than relying on online reviews and descriptions. Store environment and customer service are also high priorities for shoppers at physical locations. The more appealing your physical store is and the better your customer service, the more traffic you can expect from customers returning post-covid and the more repeat business you can expect in the future.


What benefits are shoppers looking for at physical stores in the new normal

There are many benefits to the physical store experience: Firstly, there is no need to spend time and effort searching for products that can be found on the internet. There is no search box on the back of the box, no need to search for store opening hours. Shopping at the physical store is the first point of contact and shoppers can pick up their items and leave straight away. This is not the case with online shopping. You have to wait and wait for the postman to deliver your package or for your order to be placed, you can't choose your delivery time and also there are no guarantees when your item is going to arrive. Physical stores can be a better value for the money and often offer better customer service.


Strategies for getting shoppers back to your store

How did shoppers move from digital back to physical stores post Covid-19? Couples are buying, and especially when they have children together. The vast majority of people shopping at physical stores post Covid-19 are buying things for children and spouses and significant others. And they're buying big, heaping boxes of stuff.


During lockdown, consumers not only discovered or increased their online shopping—they also found new stores and brands to try or switch to. 40% discovered at least one new online store during peak COVID and 83% said they were likely to continue purchasing from new stores they discovered.


Add to that the fact that a majority of omnichannel retail customers are store only customers—meaning they only buy from a retailer’s physical store, they don’t visit or buy from the retailer’s website—and this means that retailers have some work to do to ensure customers who’ve spent the last year shopping online come back to their brick-and-mortar stores to buy.


How can you combat online competition and re-engage in-store shoppers? The short answer is to reach customers online. But with a majority of retail shoppers falling into the “store only” category, the real answer is a bit more complicated. If you have captured information from customers who have previously shopped in your store and through your online channels you can:

  • Identify and target customers online who previously purchased in-store

  • Re-engage customers, using historical sales and customer data from the past year of online purchases

  • Find potential new customers who are likely to buy in-store, using both online and offline competitor data concerning intent in their search and purchasing journey

  • Unify the journey and engage customers based on their entire shopping history of both offline and online purchases, including product recommendations based both on what they’re most likely to buy next and what’s currently in-stock.

  • Add more touchpoints to increase revenue. Adding online touchpoints with consumers who are only buying in-store increases their likelihood to buy with you again by 50%.

  • Convert store-only shoppers to more valuable omnichannel shoppers. Data shows that over a 3-month period, omnichannel shoppers make 3.8 transactions on average, vs. 2.2 transactions for in-store only shoppers.


Need help re-engaging with your past in-store customers and converting online purchasers to your brick-and-mortar location? Contact Content-1 today and let’s discuss the best strategy for your business moving forward.