With this in mind, I believe that service, or shopkeeping, will be hugely important to post Covid bricks and mortar retailing. Simply because it’s one major aspect of ‘experience’ that simply can’t be replicated online – and it keeps customers coming back.
Independent shops tend to get it. The Hambledon in Winchester is a particularly good example. After two visits, the shop keeper greeted me by name. He also remembered what I brought during my last visits and suggested new items I might like based on the previous sales.
Now, I go back to The Hambledon 2-3 times a year to discover what I didn’t know I can’t live without! Whilst I understand this approach is far harder for larger retailers, it could be replicated by good use of tech to enable a more personalised service.
Yes, the post Covid world is daunting, but it needn’t be overly complicated. Keeping experience – and how you make a customer feel – should always be a focus.