Retailers have been forced to move quicker than they anticipated to combat the impacts of the pandemic.

The shift from physical to digital was inevitable, but Covid-19 accelerated the process. Fear has been instilled into retailers that if they don’t shift to digital channels, they will lose interest and engagement among customers.

However, at the same time, retailers need to re-think their in-store experience to meet changing customer needs.

Online platform, ShopFully, is empowering retailers to connect with consumers via digital catalogues with the latest deals and an app that makes shopping on the go easier, but ultimately drives customers into stores.

“Consumers are doing more research online prior to purchase than ever before, but there is a strong desire to return to physical stores,” ShopFully country manager for Australia, Dean Vocisano told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

“By incorporating a digital platform like ShopFully, retailers can take advantage of data to see the promotions that are working and those that are not performing, as well as advertisements that are generating foot traffic, to provide a more tailored experience.

“Our research shows that consumers are less loyal to their favourite brands with price becoming an increasingly important factor, which is likely to be driven by economic uncertainty and reduced job security over the last 12 months.”

Vocisano expects digital engagement to continue to accelerate over the next two to three years but says retailers should be wary of viewing their digital and in-store strategies as two separate entities.

“Retailers should approach their strategies with a cohesive and integrated lens and must ensure their digital strategy includes a call to action to encourage in-store foot traffic.”