At the start of lockdown, supermarkets continued to operate. The lifeline to the nation was thriving, as sales in food retail were up by 22%, marking a £467m increase from the same period in 2019. Now six months later, they’re still adapting to the radical changes put before them. The latest in a long line of changes is the new regulation requiring shoppers to wear face masks in retail spaces.
To be successful now, supermarkets must understand the new thought processes driving customer behaviour. The pandemic has forced the industry to question everything it knew about customer psychology. With brand loyalty being one facet that has been under constant stress from the ever-changing retail environment.
Retailers can harness the power of brand loyalty by correctly handling the face covering situation, if done well shoppers will respond positively and continue to shop with them. If done poorly, shoppers may lose faith in the retailer’s judgement and consider breaking brand loyalty and shopping elsewhere.
Customer loyalty has been widely accepted as the ‘Holy Grail’ of retail. With a 5% rise in customer loyalty been shown to increase profit per customer from 25% to 100%. It has also been shown that on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase.
As customer retention is made harder in uncertain times, businesses must devote extra time, effort and resources to keep loyal customers happy. With 61% of retailers citing customer retention as their biggest hurdle, it’s clear that this is an ongoing battle that’s not going to be solved with a quick fix.
The industry must work towards an ongoing solution that will help improve and maintain customer loyalty. As shoppers will only spend time and money in places where they feel safe. Many have families, and possibly vulnerable people to protect. They can’t afford to take the chance on businesses with no clear regulations in place, and signage dictating this.
We understand that safety is the unrivaled priority of shoppers in today’s retail world, therefore we have taken time to understand what makes a retail environment appear safe. We have concluded that in addition to signage instructing shoppers on store policy, adequate floor signage and sufficient hand sanitiser stations is the key to ensuring retail continues to thrive. That’s why we have continuously developed our social distancing range. Even now as retail is becoming normalised, we are still perfecting our range of safety signage to ensure shoppers are kept happy.
Social distancing solutions make it a more enticing environment that shoppers are more willing to shop in. When the opposite happens, and shoppers aren’t as protected as they wish they were, they voice their criticism and openly address the issue. One example is, the Walton Street Market, Hull that opened in June, shoppers claimed that, ‘they definitely didn’t feel safe’ and ‘it was dangerous to stay’. Many opted to leave rather than subject themselves to unsafe conditions.
When brands are seen to care about their customers, it triggers an incredible response that drives brand loyalty. It has been shown that if consumers trust a brand, they are 76% more likely to buy over their competitor. Additionally, they are 68% more likely to recommend them their friends. In today’s world, brands need to show they care about consumers health, by erecting signage to display their instructions to the shoppers regarding the current guidelines.
Many experts are suggesting now is time to look forward and focus on life after lockdown. Businesses should be considering the brand loyalty they have gained and potentially could still gain, from being seen as caring by displaying clear instructions for shoppers.
Improve your brand loyalty by reacting quickly to guidelines and using signage to instruct shoppers to wear face coverings.