Shops to reopen June 15 – how is that going to work?
My Mum is one of many pleased to hear shops are due to reopen mid-June. She’s not a fan of online shopping and there are some things you can’t get in supermarkets.
Boris Johnson said June 15 will mark the reopening of non-essential shops with the same social distancing rules as supermarkets. But retailers will have to adapt, facing queues, pexi glass at checkouts and added hygiene.
Will Broome, Founder and CEO of retail tech pioneers Ubamarket, is one industry expert who believes that the most successful stores will go beyond the government mandated cleanliness and hygiene guidelines, by adapting their operations and services to offer more convenient and modern shopping experiences.
“Despite the havoc that is being caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, I believe that the crisis is bringing into focus a number of pre-existing problems with the way in which we shop. Ever-changing store layouts, outdated queues and checkouts, and the lack of communication between retailers and their customers are just some of the issues that COVID-19 has made very clear.
“Now, the question facing retailers is not ‘when will things go back to normal’ but rather ‘how can we adapt our offering to make sure we are aligned with the changing trends and new retail landscape?’. Adhering to the new guidelines established by the government in terms of cleanliness, social distancing and hygiene measures is of course essential, but that is only one piece of the puzzle.
“The implementation of retail technology holds the key to building the future of retail that supports our new shopping habits whilst also helping retailers to safeguard themselves against future cases of irregular consumer behaviour. After Coronavirus, the world won’t go back to how was – people will be more hygienic and convenience-conscious, and retailers will be looking for ways to adapt to the shift in consumer behaviour and protect themselves against future shortages.
“Retail tech offers an all-encompassing solution; in Ubamarket’s case in the form of a simple app; which can put consumers in control, doing away with the need for time-consuming queues, unhygienic checkouts, and confusion about where products are and whether they are in stock. It remains to be seen how the sector will fare beyond Coronavirus, but retail technology is sure to play a significant role.”
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