As jewellers in England get ready to reopen their doors, a survey by online scheduling and customer engagement platform, Appointedd, provides a glimpse of what the public expect a safe ‘return to retail’ to look like, post Covid-19.
The poll undertaken last week highlights that 79% of people are more likely to visit shops that limit the number of people in store, while 75% also stated that they would rather book a guaranteed entry time rather than join a queue.
The availability of hand sanitiser (84%) and capacity management (71.5%) are also among shoppers’ main requirements to feeling safe in store.
The stats point to a clear shift in how comfortable people feel re-entering physical stores – 55% of people don’t expect to return to their normal shopping habits when non-essential shops reopen on Monday, and 25% went as far to say that they don’t think they’ll ever return to the same level of in-store shopping. Encouragingly though, the majority of shoppers still expect to spend the same amount as they did pre Covid-19.
With 17% of respondents saying they would shop less but spend more, online is going to remain an area for growth. Shoppers are signaling that they are ready to engage across a number of channels, even within a single transaction. 76% said that they would like to reserve or buy an item online and then book a guaranteed click and collect time. And 20% of respondents indicated that they would be interested in attending a virtual shopping experience on Zoom, either by themselves or with friends.
Appointedd founder and CEO, Leah Hutcheon, comments: “So what is the ‘new normal’ for retail? Judging by the results of this survey, two actions are clear. Shoppers want online access to a full, omnichannel suite of retail services, and, where shoppers need to visit a physical store, queueless shopping is essential.”
Many jewellers have revealed plans for an appointment-only system for the initial reopening.
Both Laings Jewellers and the Watches of Switzerland Group are encouraging shoppers to make an appointment, with both firms saying the reason for this is to comply with social distancing, help staff and customers feel safe, and manage the customer experience by not having consumers wait outside to buy a luxury item.