2020 has been quite the year, hasn’t it?
It is fairly difficult to believe that nationwide lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic took place just under eight months ago. Despite 2020 spanning into eternity and feeling an awful lot like three years in one, the holiday season is rapidly approaching.
On any other non-pandemic ridden calendar year, retailers generally wait until the dawn of Halloween to launch their holiday assortment. This year, however, Amazon pulled back their Prime Day to October 13th and 14th, signaling an early start to holiday shopping. Many major retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot followed suit, leaving shoppers with a choice: purchase spooky Halloween decor or start buying holiday gifts.
The holiday season will undoubtedly look a lot different this year, as we witnessed with Q2 and Q3 holidays. Consumers hesitate to shop in-store with throngs of people while the Coronavirus cases continue to surge. Customer experience (CX) is more important than ever before, particularly with regard to safety initiatives and compliance, to ease shopper anxiety and ensure a positive experience with your brand.
Customer Experience in the Time of COVID-19
In two surveys conducted by Premise with 3,398 respondents, 47% said they “neither feel safe nor unsafe” shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and 20% said that they feel some degree unsafe.
Consumer trust is critical this holiday season, especially with 66% of shoppers planning to increase online shopping this year. When shoppers visit your brick-and-mortar location, they will be particularly observant of safety guidelines and compliance to ease discomfort and concern.
COVID-19 safety guidelines vary from state to state. Still, many retailers and brands are implementing their own safety guidelines to protect shoppers including: mask mandates, social distancing, customer capacity limits and cleaning protocols. While these safety guidelines are honorable in theory, will they hold up amid the holiday shopping chaos?
Implementing safety guidelines is one thing, but complying with the guidelines is an entirely different hurdle. Protecting your customer experience with crowdsourced retail audits is the key to continued success this holiday season.
Using Retail Audits to Ensure Safety Compliance
You need on-the-ground, in-store data and you need it fast. Crowdsourced retail audits are a surefire way to collect real-time customer data from verified contributors who can answer key questions like: are store employees wearing masks? Is social distancing enforced in stores? And more.
What is a Retail Audit?
You can visit our Retail Audit page for a more in-depth benefit assessment of crowdsourced vs. traditional retail audits. In brief, a retail audit collects supplier data like: out of stock (OOS), visual merchandising, planogram compliance, competitive intelligence and more.
In times of COVID-19, a retail audit can help your brand monitor key data points, including demographic data, in-store data and valuable competitive intelligence.
Monitor Demographic Data
A retail audit can assess important demographic data, including store conditions, foot traffic, shopper compliance with mask-wearing, and social distancing adherence. This data is the perfect starting point to assess your customer’s experience before they even engage with your brand.
Monitor In-Store Data
When shoppers reach your product assortment on the shelf, you want to make sure inventory levels are adequate, retailers are compliant with your provided planogram, safety signage is in its rightful place, and more. A crowdsourced retail audit provides you with ample contributor data for an accurate assessment of in-store conditions.
Gather Competitive Intelligence
What are your competitors doing to promote shopper safety? How does your brand’s safety measures compare?
Crowdsourced retail audits can provide real-time competitive data to ensure your brand remains competitive as holiday shopping picks up in the coming months. Retail audits can also help your brand identify holes in competitive execution, creating an opportunity for gain in market share.
Crowdsource Your Retail Audit with Premise
Are you interested in learning more about how Premise can implement a successful crowdsourced retail audit for your holiday shopping experience? Visit https://www.premise.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to help you become more data-driven.