4 Trends to Support Travel Based Retailers
Trend #1: COVID-minded consumers are more informed consumers.
Changes in shopping habits directly due to COVID — including altered store hours, social distancing and supply chain issues — have influenced customers to be more flexible but also more informed in their purchasing decisions. Because many customers were forced to buy items they may not have otherwise, they became more familiar with both stepping outside their comfort zones and researching new brands and merchants. Use this to your advantage and market your store and inventory alike to customers beyond your existing clientele. You just may be surprised at their willingness to get to know your business better.
Trend #2: Social-shopping can increase digital sales directly from store floors.
While many brick and mortar retailers struggled to get customers into their stores during COVID, some leveraged social media to still connect to their audience despite zero to minimal foot traffic in their stores. Using apps such as CommentSold, stores can share videos via social media that entertain, engage and inform their customers so that they can still share inventory updates and collect transactions despite a barrier to their physical stores. This was not just convenient during the height of COVID, it remains convenient now as well. More so, it has proven to be a great way for customers to want to shop, with CommentSold reporting over a billion dollars in sales on Facebook alone among 7,000 various merchants.
Trend #3: A circular economy is here to stay.
As customers became more informed and engaged buyers during COVID, they also recognized how a circular economy can benefit their wallets. With a circular economy, consumer goods — including travel items — are not thrown away but rather, repurposed, recycled or reused by someone else. This trend is particularly popular among younger generations, and is one that your store can support by welcoming a trade-in luggage program, an area in your store dedicated to gently loved luggage via consignment or by purchases already used inventory, marketing your efforts that support sustainability and circular economy and more. In other words, capture the attention of those consumers who this matters to, then identify ways to connect with them via transactions along the way.
Trend #4: Re-designed floor plans are intended to enhance modern customer preferences.
From socially distancing to self-check-out options to merchandising inventory without customers having to engage staff for support to see items, there are many preferred ways customers want to shop amidst our continued pandemic. Keeping these factors in mind, reconsider how your own store supports modern customer preferences and then identify ways to reconfigure your store to better support them. Often this means widening walking spaces, allocating self-check-out areas and introducing stronger store signage to reduce customer and staff engagement. Introducing hand sanitizer stations, offering facial masks and communicating best practices followed by your store that reduce the spread of COVID can help accommodate those consumers looking to gain comfort shopping in stores again.
Finally, have fun! Customers want to feel both engaged and appreciated in stores, so make sure you give them an experience they’re both comfortable with and will enjoy. Even just a few small adjustments can support the trends of today’s savvy, COVID-minded consumer.