Retail industry leaders and peak bodies are urging bricks and mortar merchants to adopt innovative marketing strategies post JobKeeper to attract customers, suggesting that government support in the form of a loan would be a helpful boost.

While the National Retail Association (NRA) supports the government’s $6,000 ecommerce loans for retailers looking to go online, it says not all retailers can make their businesses digital and that there is a need for retailers that are reliant on foot traffic and face-to-face purchases to revamp and refreshen.

“Ecommerce is going to be essential for many businesses going forward, but not all businesses can go online,” NRA CEO, Dominique Lamb said.

“What many retailers desperately need are loans so they can freshen up their public facing branding to attract customers and help keep them afloat during this period of instability. We’re calling on the government to grant small businesses $5,000 loans.”

A recent study conducted by Monash University has revealed that Australian shoppers expect to use ecommerce shopping channels by around 31% more due to Covid-19. 

“In terms of industry survival, stores that were able to pivot to online platforms have been able to protect themselves and maintain a source of revenue. However, we are concerned for stores that require a customer to physically inspect items before committing to a purchase – like furniture, electronics and homeware stores, for example,” Lamb said.

“It’s much harder for these retailers to go digital because of the purchasing process. They need physical marketing tactics to attract customers, like shop signage.”

Lightbox and signage company, VitrineMedia has been helping businesses boost foot traffic and sales during Covid utilising the science of cold white light to unconsciously attract the eye.

“Studies have shown different types of light evoke different reactions in the brain. Cold white light engages the brain in a way that warm yellow light doesn’t. That’s a great light for relaxing, but if you want to grab attention, you want cold white light which illuminates successfully,” VitrineMedia CEO, Mike Toweel said.

Adelaide-based mobile phone company, Pop Phones, has installed the VitrineMedia screens at various outlets across the city and northern suburbs, following a successful pilot project at Golden Grove Village in north-east Adelaide (pictured above).

“When we were forced to close doors during the first lockdown, we could not rely on online sales like other stores and had to look at other solutions to draw in customers,” Pop Phones founder and director, Renish Satani said.

“We used our indoor VitrineMedia signs to advertise our monthly promotions and specials and, within weeks, sales of these items grew by some 10%.”