At the peak of this global lockdown, more people are stuck indoors due to government restrictions than were even alive during World War II. Crazy, right? Naturally, the last few months have caused a huge shift in human behavioural patterns. And with non-essential shops now reopen, what does this look like? Have we all been converted to online shopping due to Covid, or will we be rushing back to our brick-and-mortar shops?
*This is a collaborative post. Image Source
Obviously, online shopping is nothing new. It’s something most of us know and love. During the lockdown caused by Covid, for many products, it’s our only option of getting our hands on the things we ‘needed’ day-to-day. From make-up, hair care, clothes, and books. Amazon became our go-to. Many businesses without an online presence had to try and rectify this in order to stay profitable. Shopping became 24/7, flexible, safe, and convenient. Perhaps many people who had once preferred heading to the shops had become converted to shopping from their sofas. But that didn’t stop the long queues at Primark come June 15th.
There’s clearly just something we love about visiting a retail store. It’s social, therapeutic, and somewhat of an escape mechanism for many. Grab a coffee, browse the rails, take a friend, and enjoy a day out. Plus, more and more retail stores are stepping it up. They are making the customer experience, a more immersive and engaging one. Innovative retail store design connects you with a brand and it’s identity when you’re shopping in-store with atmospheric lighting and music, dynamic videos and displays, and interactive pop-up shops. Retail is where a brand can really shine and this just doesn’t always translate to a website.
The Covid Effect
So, has the pandemic shifted our consumer behaviours enough to have a lasting effect on physical retail? I personally am not sure. I think for many people, the desire to revisit the high street will be stronger than ever. Consumer drive to support local retail, in particular, has really increased since Covid-19, with many small businesses struggling to keep their doors open during these tough times. Customers are compelled to do their bit to help their local high street and community-minded spirit is on the rise. Whether it’s visiting a local fruit and vegetable stall instead of buying from the supermarket, purchasing vouchers from a local shop to be used at a later date or, now that they may be open, making a conscious decision to visit and spend a little money – the pandemic seems to have given us a renewed appreciation for the high street.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post with Green Room Design. This post has been pre-written.