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:
- Building customer confidence to visit stores: Our survey found most consumers are avoiding stores to a significant degree. 82% were avoiding non-essential stores in the weeks prior to lockdown and 33% were even avoiding essential stores. So retailers will need to be highly effective in social distancing protocols using advanced customer management processes and software tools in order to build confidence to visit their stores. Those that do this well will create a competitive advantage through improved sales and stronger brand reputation that lasts into the future.
- Brushing up their BOPIS: More consumers plan to use BOPIS to collect online orders while reducing their time in stores (67% of customers for grocery and pharmacy and 50% of customers for other types of retailers), including new demographics across every category such as age bracket, industry profession, household income, region and state. At this critical time, retailers need to brush up their BOPIS experience to ensure it is seamless and safe. Those that do this well will gain customers over others and will also fuel their growth in the future through converting new demographics to omni-channel behaviors. A growth in omni-channel shopping behaviors is a good thing for a retailer because omni-channel customers spend 15% more and retain for longer.
- Building relationships online: Customers want virtual service from every type of retailer, including those with open stores (61% want virtual service from essential retailers and 32% from non-essential retailers). Younger demographics are also twice as likely to want virtual service over Baby Boomers, suggesting that virtual online service is something that every retailer should look to offer within the Coronavirus era and potentially beyond.
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:
- Ensure in-store social distancing by managing customers in remote/virtual queues that keep them safe and updated while they wait for service and by enabling customers to pre-schedule their visits. We believe Coronavirus will be a catalyst to more retailers eliminating physical queues and enabling customers to book in-store services from any channel, creating a better experience while keeping them safe in this new environment.
- Offer contactless BOPIS pickup experiences. With so many retailers starting to look at curbside BOPIS pickup experiences, our queue management software enables customers to check-in when they arrive at a store, alerting staff who can find their order and bring it to the customer in the store, car park or curbside. Meanwhile the customer can watch their place in the queue.
- Build brand relationships online by offering customers the opportunity to easily book and connect with advisors for one-to-one service and to discover and book onto their upcoming online events and webinars.”
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.