With Sainsburys and Asda limiting sales of all food items, and Morrisons announcing a series of coronavirus measures, supermarkets in particular will need to up their game if they hope to retain brand loyalty and profits in such a trying time for businesses. Paul Kirkland, Retail and Hospitality Business Development Director, Fujitsu, looks at why prioritising customer experience in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak is the best way bricks-and-mortar stores can compete with online giants.
With retailers facing extraordinary pressures as a result of Covid-19, Morrisons’ positive end of year results offers some welcome respite from the many stories of high street woe. And after announcing a series of new coronavirus measures, it’s clear why the supermarket giant is so successful – with a renewed focus placed on customer loyalty and experience, staff retention, and support for smaller, valued suppliers, even in an increasingly tough business environment.
The outbreak signals another changing tide in the grocery industry. One in which online delivery and cashless buying has become more than just convenient and, instead, a necessity. It means that bricks-and-mortar retailers will increasingly be pitted against their online rivals, and the only way to win out will be to prioritise the customer experience and brand loyalty.
While investing in the digital is now vital to surviving as a retailer, investing in new jobs to free up staff to deliver food orders and enhance the overall customer experience will give stores the competitive differentiation they need to thrive. Store staff know customer needs best and, in the face of depleting footfall, finding more opportunities to deliver to customers that can’t leave their homes shows consumers remain at the heart of their operations – however they need to shop.”
By Paul Kirkland
Retail and Hospitality Business Development Director