As England prepares for non-essential shops to re-open from 15th June, retailers will be preparing how best to open safely and in accordance to social distancing and cleanliness measures to encourage customers to return to shop in-store provided their health and welfare is cared for.
OnBuy.com found that there has been a 350 per cent increase in searches for ‘retail shops opening’ over the last 30 days alone, whilst ‘when can retail shops open again’ increased by a 4,650 per cent - highlighting just how eager Brits are to shop.
However, it is clear shoppers need assurances to ensure their safety when shops reopen. OnBuy, therefore, spoke to a security technology firm Bi3 to provide its thoughts on how shops will adapt to a ‘new normal.’
If bricks and mortar stores can use this period of ‘downtime’ to leverage the technology available – helping them to keep loyal customers, attract new buyers and show that they are doing everything possible to protect staff and shoppers while adhering to government guidelines – they can bounce back better than ever.
Retailers should take time, conduct thorough market research, and choose a provider that offers solutions including both the monitoring of social distancing and enhanced security measures. If they can find the right partner, which offers a guaranteed return on investment, high street stores will advance into the new technology-enabled era of retail.
There are technologies that enable the monitoring of occupancy levels, the density of crowds and the use of tailgating measures in a shop – each personalised to suit characteristics of individual stores, such as size, number of floors and spacing between racks. It is important to consider the need for real-time data metrics, as staff will need to act quickly if these alerts are triggered.
A socially distanced high street will be difficult to enforce and challenging to monitor. However, with the support and cooperation of both employees and customers, it can be achieved. Much like the launching of the NHS contact tracing app, technology will play its part not only in providing control and data insights but when building customer confidence that the store is employing multiple means to ensure their safety.