The Future of Retail Festival: How retailers can safely reopen in an upside down retail world 

Dylan Brown
by Dylan Brown

Qudini’s CEO and Co-Founder, Imogen Wethered, is so excited to be presenting at The Future of Retail Festival by Retail Innovation Week and PSFK, she’s already prepared her presentation!

The festival of free talks is aimed to inspire the retail community to rethink the store, brand and customer experience. Imogen will be talking about how retailers can safely reopen for business in an upside down retail world on June 30 at 2:00 pm EDT – register for the free presentation here.

About the webinar

Following a survey to 2,000 American consumers on how the Coronavirus has changed their shopping needs and behaviors, Imogen’s 15 minute talk will share the three key findings from their survey to suggest how retailers can safely reopen for business and get the economy back in motion as the lockdown eases.

She’ll cover how the Coronavirus has turned our normal retail expectations upside down and what retail will look for the remainder of the Coronavirus era, and potentially beyond, as result.

Where previously stores were for building brand relationships and online was largely for pure fulfilment, Qudini’s survey findings show that in this upside down Coronavirus era, stores should serve more as fast fulfillment hubs with highly efficient experiences and brand relationships should now be built online.

Imogen’s talk will also feature exciting interactive demos that show how their software is helping leading retailers, such as Samsung, to offer safe retail experiences that enable social distancing through virtual queueing software, appointment scheduling software and contactless BOPIS/click and collect pickup experiences.

So you don’t have to wait, below is a summary of some of the material she will cover – but make sure you tune in to hear more insights.

Q1. How will the future store be different from past iterations?  What do you think could be some of the biggest challenges retailers will need to solve in the “new normal”?

Imogen: “We recently surveyed 2,000 American consumers about their shopping behaviors during Covid-19 and our findings suggest that the three key challenges that retailers will need to solve include: 

The most important fact retailers need to bear in mind is that the Coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon, and brands need to adapt to this new world. If retailers take the correct actions against these three insights, they could soon make up for lost sales in the coming weeks and months, both online and offline.”

Q2. Within the pre-planning stage of the shopper journey in particular, what are the biggest hurdles — and opportunities?

Imogen: “Interestingly, in this new world it’s hard to define what the pre-planning stages of the shopping journey now include, because, as our survey insights show, retail has essentially been turned upside down in the new Covid-19 era. 

Where stores were previously hubs for building brand relationships, learning about products and trying new products, while online was focussed on convenience and pure fulfilment.

However, our survey insights suggest that in the Coronavirus world, stores will serve more as fulfilment hubs for fast contactless interactions, to pickup online orders or to view things but in a highly efficient and well managed way (with minimal touching and browsing involved). Brands wanting to build relationships and to create experiences for their customers will now need to move their one-to-one service and customer engagement events online, as stores transform into fulfilment centers while online moves into the service and experience realm.

We believe this new upside down retail world will further blend digital and physical shopping channels and will change consumer omni-channel shopping behaviors for the long-term. Higher omni-channel customer behavior is a good thing for brands, and the Coronavirus outbreak could act as a catalyst for greater multi-dimensional retail offerings in the future. Coronavirus isn’t going away soon and so businesses need to adapt to this new normal and those who do so the fastest will win out.”

Q3. In a nutshell, could you explain for our audience what Qudini does, and how Qudini is going to assist this next gen of stores? What new solutions are you exploring?

Imogen: “Qudini offer virtual queuing software and appointment scheduling software.

We’re seeing a massive uptake in use of our software in the Coronavirus era because we can help retailers to: 

Q4. How excited are you about Store (Re)Design Day? What kind of insights do you hope this event can provide, and any from your side in particular? 

Imogen: “I’m really looking forward to the Store (Re)Design Day. I’m particularly excited to discover how others are proposing solutions for retailers to help safely reopen their stores and get the economy back up and running.

It will also be interesting to better understand how retailers foresee these changes and challenges impacting their ability to reopen stores and drive sales, and to discover the actions they’re currently taking to increase their omni-channel, or even multidimensional, retail sales.”

You can register for all the amazing talks and panel events here. Retail Innovation Week program is curated by the think-tank PSFK.

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