Covid 19 and retail : The end of offline retail or the next big thing in offline retail

COVID-19 has upended lives across the world. There is confusion, constantly changing environment, dynamic indicators, shaky share markets across the world and everyone is grappling to find a way to respond to the evolving crisis. While we continue to work on developing strategies, one thing is sure- the world will not be the same again. Preparedness, planning, and forethinking is the only way ahead.
It is also clear that this too is Darwinian, where only the fittest will survive. Just that the definition of the fittest has now changed in the context of the coronavirus pandemic to those who are more resilient, adaptive, and agile to future crisis.
The pandemic is impacting most industries at an unprecedented scale globally. Even when the crisis dies down, the businesses are likely to witness significant disruption in the upcoming 9-12 months.
Specific to the retail industry, the pandemic has direct impact on retail and to put it succinctly, “the year 2020 has put the retailers in Catch 2Ǿ2Ǿ Situation”.

“Consumers now are deeply concerned about the impact of the Corona virus both from health and economic perspective. With the shift in consumer behaviour, attitude and purchasing habits, retailers are contemplating various ideas to gear up for the ‘new normal’. The new normal is defined by contactless, hygiene and distancing. As per a Consumer Survey: A whopping 87% shoppers prefer to shop in stores with “touchless or robust self-checkout options.”
Retailers need to find a way to keep the interaction going in times of “Social Distancing”. The answer lies in the term “distancing” itself. Think closely, the pandemic mandates physical distance not social. Retail interactions today are more about conversations and low touch. People are still conversing, just the mediums have changed!
As a retailer, the measures must have a mechanism to keep the conversation alive and at the same time guarantee contactless, clean and safe environment to do it.
To stay relevant post COVID-19; retailers need to inevitably adjust to the new norms of selling — From online to assisted digital shopping and visit by appointment, from showcasing the product options physically to sharing them online, switching to digital payment and seeking customer feedback online.
Easyrewardz has recently launched a new product ‘Shopster’ for Retailers to create seamless shopping experience with conversational commerce.
The innovative offering is designed to empower retailers in their businesses continuity by allowing the customers to discover & shop products of their choice from their homes.
The virtual shopping assistant enables Brand’s Store Managers to assist customers right from product discovery to delivery. It also features ‘Store Visit via Appointment’ where customers who are willing to visit the store can book appointments at the nearest store. Appointments are made basis number of customers permissible and customizable time slots so social distancing rules can be followed at stores.
With Shopster COVID 19 Retail tool kit, our aim is to help you navigate through these unprecedented times by redesigning your CX strategy to boost store sales and deliver fulfilling shopping experiences.
Here’s how it works
  • Get in touch with Customers through WhatsApp and WebBot
  • Personalize conversations
  • Send product catalogues, customized recommendations, and follow-ups
  • Receive payments digitally & share digital receipt
  • Facilitate fulfilment
  • Seek customer’s feedback

The outlook for retail is clear. Retailers need to quickly cope with the new normal world and changing buying patterns. The buzz is that conversational commerce will be instrumental in shaping the future of retail! A sheer necessity for any retail business is to try the appropriate solution to get shoppers to buy.

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