If there is a time when innovation in retail is important, it is now. Surely these words applied to commerce are becoming more and more familiar to you. Innovation, creativity, technology, digital transformation. With so much change and in the face of a situation still uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have to choose. Stay as you are and wait, or apply changes in your trade that ensure your survival and even help you grow.
The pandemic has already hit many businesses and in the retail sector not all businesses will be able to survive this difficult stage. Yes, it is true that the crisis is being very hard on certain sectors and “favoring” others. If you sell fashion for events or items for travel, your business will be feeling the consequences of social distancing very closely. However, if you work with products or services for the home or decoration, it is possible that you are in a very sweet moment for your business.
Also with increases in sales and profits. In any case, it is not the time to stop, but to reflect on your business and make new plans. If things go wrong, to improve results; if it goes well for you, to grow and/or be better prepared for the future.However, the equipment of the store will play a decisive role in the overall image and operation of the space.
We are going to take this opportunity to review 3 key ideas that can help you innovate in your store.
The product assortment. Innovate to match demand Trade and innovation after COVID The assortment is the set of products and services that you make available to your customers. I remember, in the first months after the pandemic, that many merchants and hoteliers began to use the Google My Business and WhatsApp Business tools to show their products or services. Despite the limited number of these tools, I was able to discover very well-presented assortments. But in other cases, I saw inconsistent sets or sets of products that did not seem connected to each other. Now that we have been seeing changes in demand for a year as a result of the pandemic, it seems clear that we need to change something in our assortment.
On the one hand, there are products that we demand more (for example, products for the home or that are enjoyed at home). On the other, we have changed habits that have generated new demands (for example, those related to teleworking). And finally, there are also products that we now consume in a different way (more at home than outside of it, such as beer).
How to rethink or change the assortment of the store?
Well, it all depends on your sector or how the health measures caused by the pandemic affect you or how the crisis has affected your area or your potential customers: It can be as simple as discovering new ways in which to connect products together, creating new categories adapted to new needs or the needs of new customers. In other cases, we can adapt the assortment by creating new categories that connect products/services that we already had. For example, some fashion stores have created a “comfy” or “home clothes” category, either with existing products or with specially purchased/created ones.
A great option is to create services that complement products we already have. For example, home delivery (such as delivery for purchases by phone or other online channels). Personalization (such as embroidery or applications on textile products), advisory services (such as decorators or personal shoppers). You can sell some of these services separately or in conjunction with the product. We can also choose to create product packs, that is, for “combined products” that together have a greater utility or are adapted to a specific demand.
You have surely seen many technologies or furniture product stores that have created product packs for teleworking. What can you think of for your store? The nice thing about these assortment innovations is that they don’t require a large investment. Just connect your products in different ways and do tests to see how your customers are accepting these changes.
Impact COVID retail and innovation
Innovate in the business model of your store It is the type of innovation that we perceive as the most complicated. But why? We understand commerce as an activity in which a company buys products and then sells them to other companies or to the final consumer. If the business is wholesale, it will sell the products to other companies (generating a Business to Business or B2B model). If the business is retail or retailer, it will sell the products to the consumer or end-user (generating a Business to Consumer or B2C model).
Until a few years ago this was more or less like this. But today there are manufacturers that sell directly to the final consumer. The wholesalers are also retailers or portals in which people sell to other people, in P2P (or peer to peer) models.