This time of year, the high-streets, shopping centres and retail parks would usually be heaving with people doing their Christmas shopping. With the majority of the UK under some sort of lockdown restrictions in the lead up to the busiest time of year for retail, it is clear that the festive shopping season of 2020 is going to look and feel a little different to normal. 

The current lockdown in England means that non-essential retail shops are not allowed to be open for customers to browse in-store, however, many of them are taking advantage of being able to offer a ‘click and collect’ service. This year has certainly been a testing time for non-essential retail, especially small independent businesses, with many of them adapting the way they promote their stores and turning their efforts to online marketing, especially social media. 

Although a large percentage of shoppers will be turning to online outlets this Christmas, it is still very important to be putting your efforts into making sure your store is ready for when it can re-open in December. A lot of people prefer to shop in-store for gift ideas and the personal touch that Amazon just can’t give them – this is where your target market it this year.

Have customer expectations changed for in-store shopping?

The current pandemic and the rules that are currently in place have really altered people’s attitudes towards shopping. Gone are the days of strolling around shopping centres, but people want to just be in and out as quickly as possible. 

A recent survey has shown that 71% of customers still value the speed of service, experience at the till and delivery options as integral to their loyalty to a retailer. For safety reasons, customers are also looking to reduce the amount of time spent in-store. The study showed that home delivery is currently preferred by 66% of customers. Only 18% opted for in-store pick-up (click and collect services).

33% of customers explained that a negative in-store shopping experience would be caused by low stock and limited product availability. Making sure you have plenty of stock of a wide range of products is a must-do this Christmas.

To summarise, when a customer enters your store, they are expecting to feel valued and to have a positive shopping experience. Offer small touches that will really help to transform their experience with you. Marketing and signage are extremely important in being able to draw their eye over certain areas of the shop. You want to make them feel safe in your store – make sure you are operating in a covid-secure manner by providing hand sanitiser, enforcing face mask-wearing, and limiting the amount of customers in your shop in order to practice social distancing.

The importance of social media marketing

Social media marketing is always important, but it has become a crucial part of a retail company’s strategy over recent months. People are spending much more time at home, meaning they have more time to be looking at social media channels. Make sure you grab their attention – use your social media accounts just like you would your shop window. Show off your new stock. Promote any special offers you have on. Most importantly, keep your content consistent and on-brand.

How can Media Jelly help you?

Media Jelly have expertise in a huge range of marketing and promotional services from websites to promotional materials, digital campaigns to videography and photography. We can really help you to unify your brand across all of your outlets, making you instantly recognisable to both existing and new customers. 

Find out more about Media Jelly here.