How many industry stories have you read over the years about retailers developing an endless aisle strategy? Lots, right? But, in view of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure you’ve got the right strategy to ensure you can handle requests for “out of stock” items.
We have many clients who were early endless aisle adopters, but others have been slower to extend their digital reach into the store to support instore ordering. Suddenly, this is a “hot” priority for those who had not already invested in that functionality.
It turns out that during a global health pandemic, retailers who can provide consumers with a seamless shopping experience that gives them access to products they want, even if they’re not immediately available on the shelf, can often keep the sale, especially if they can provide next-day or two-day delivery.
Flooid (formerly PCMS) research into consumers’ new shopping habits, found that the ability to ‘sell anywhere and never lose a sale’, highlights the benefits of this retailing approach. Whether it’s online, through an app, or through interactive kiosks in stores, endless aisle capability is certainly a powerful feature to enhance the customer experience. As retailers continue to adjust their physical space, store sizes and supply chains it may be the new norm that something isn’t available, and that items are shipped from central warehouses or other stores directly to the customer. Having an easy and efficient way to “save the sale” can help store revenues increase by up wards of 20%. It also means the store can become more focused on shopper experience and personalisation.
Covid-19 has moved shoppers towards journeys that they had not previously embraced. For example, there is a rise in consumers who wants to use technology instore to build their own basket and to access frictionless check-out options so that they can be more self-sufficient and can avoid human interaction. Or, they may simply use the store as a way to continue and complete shopping that they started online once they are physically instore.
Offering access to this type of technology allows shoppers plenty of time to select desired items, some of which will be available in the aisles and some which may require an online order. With a single unified commerce platform and connected shopping channels, stores can ensure that if an item isn’t on a shelf, customers can quickly locate it via the web. Consumers have indicated that being unable to find items they want is a key reason they abandon loyalty to a brand. Connecting channels and providing a way for consumers to always satisfy their needs will increase the likelihood that shopper will return again and again.
As retailers work to thrive and survive in the new retail era, deploying online options in the physical store – the ultimate definition of ‘endless aisle’ – means retailers never have to say ‘no’ to customers who are ready and willing to spend and connects the dots between the online and offline worlds that are essential for modern frictionless commerce. Flooid has a proven history of successful solution deployments in the store space and a track record of innovating and collaborating widely with our retail clients to deliver the omnichannel journeys demanded by their shoppers and business needs.
Interested in more information about how Flooid can help your retail business respond to Covid-19? This article is part of our continuing series on the topic. Or, for more information, reach out to your Flooid representative.