Digital Shift: Every Second Counts in the Age of COVID-19

Updated: May 15

As the retail industry grapples with what “the new normal” means, one thing is clear: every second counts. With discussions about reopening economies happening around the world – and some already open – retailers are preparing for what the experience in their store environments should be. They’re realizing how important it is to adapt – and quickly – in order to survive.

By listening to brands and understanding the challenges they’re facing in this new reality, we’re able to ideate and implement nimble solutions that best position them for success – both now and in the future.

We’re hearing from clients every day, “What options do we have? How do we remain relevant? Are consumers still seeking the experiential? How can we adjust our in-store marketing materials and messaging to meet changing consumer needs?”

The most looming questions: how do we keep shoppers and staff safe as they make their way from online environments back to stores? And how do we maintain viability in a world where a virus resurgence could suddenly close once-opened economies again?

It’s clear retailers cannot return to the same old store with the same old messaging. If a brand doesn’t use this critical “down time” to pivot, irrelevant messaging and in-store experiences will only show buyers that the time apart has taught brands nothing.

Many retailers are not likely to be build new stores for some time, but they have the opportunity right now to modify current environments to support the new consumer relationship. Technology can play a key role in this. Digital solutions for the retail space offer a platform for listening and learning, measuring and monitoring, and engaging and supporting consumers. And can do so in that all-too-important way: touchless.

At INWK, our digital department has been busy understanding how brands can augment their retail space to offer the right message to the right audience at the right time. Traditional analogue means of communication will not support the need for tailoring, relevance, and speed of messaging that’s required to engage consumers in this wobbly new world.  

“Due to recent government restrictions, we will not be open tomorrow. Please visit our website for summer deals and curbside pick-up options,”somehow doesn’t work on door signs but does work on screens in windows, on walls, and on phones, it does.

For brand managers, getting comms to market and customizing per location can be automated and in real time. Simple technology platforms can be easily implemented in retail to manage messaging objectives both in times of COVID-19 – and beyond.

The reassuring news: technology providers are “open for business”. With our strong partner network and retail expertise, INWK can help brands engineer the right technology mix to easily augment existing in-store marketing materials to create a digitally enabled retail footprint. Doing this while the chains are on the doors ensures retailers will be ready once shoppers return to stores.

To learn more about how you can augment your brand’s in-store experience, reach out to our digital experts today.

Rob Schulkins

Head of Digital Services