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Post-lockdown: What are the new trends for businesses?

During the health crisis, most shops closed their doors in Europe and elsewhere, only the so-called "essential" shops remained open. This period has deeply affected people's minds and will certainly change mentalities in the long run.

We have tried to imagine what will happen next Post-lockdown; some businesses will probably not recover from this mandatory closure period, but others will, on the contrary, benefit greatly from it. Indeed, the public has now understood that these places are essential to their development, provided they find everything that e-commerce does not offer them… human, an experience, an enriching contact, a personality, a proximity. 

In short, what are the conditions for adding value to a business after containment? Here are, according to the team of Le Studio Labonheure, the strategies to remember.

Offer a rewarding act of purchase

For some time now, businesses have been aware that customers expect more from them than just selling their products. Customers want a shopping experience, personalized service and human contact. The experience offer is therefore a real added value.

An entertaining experience

To create a unique bond with their customers, some businesses focus on creating a unique experience. This is particularly the case for the cosmetics brand Lush, which offers product demonstrations in many of its stores. Salespeople are encouraged to massage customers’ arms with one of their massage bars, or to wash their hands with a soap with a fruity scent. In this way, the customer is not only a spectator, but also has the opportunity to test the product himself and experience Lush to the fullest.

Post lockdown
Post Lush in Hong Kong by Trung Do Bao

Another option for your business is to offer a service that is not comparable to buying online. The famous clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, for example, has decided to give its customers special fittings. In their new stores customers can choose the music in their fitting room, adjust the volume, change the intensity and color of the light, or call a salesperson at any time. This is a way of contrasting online shopping, where products cannot be tested. Thanks to this unique experience for each customer, they are encouraged to come back, if only for pleasure.

To sum up, because the public no longer goes to a physical store only to buy, but rather to experience a meeting, the experience at your point of sale must be appropriate for the customers and the products. It’s up to you to imagine settings or animations to entertain them, show them the quality of your products or offer them personalized advice.

An original concept

Setting up an experience is not the only way to make your customers live a unique moment. Businesses can choose to create a world or atmosphere of their own. This can be done through the decoration, the organization of the store or the services offered. 

By imagining a unique environment, we forge a strong bond with the public, who identify with the brand and come to find a state of mind more than a particular product. These stores, which are unlike any other, then become “Concept Stores”, real living spaces. Visitors love these original spaces that inspire their lifestyle.

Among these shops, some stand out for their originality, such as the Hutspot in Amsterdam. This is a fashion and art shop with a very modern decoration, whose particularity is that it houses a barber shop and organizes regular events. Beyond its trendy products, it is indeed its barber shop, dinners and exhibitions that have made the brand known, which today has 8 concept stores in the country.

Hotels and restaurants have also taken up the challenge, offering worlds of their own. In Paris, Le Dernier Bar Avant la Fin du Monde (The Last Bar Before the End of the World) was designed for fans of science fiction, fantasy cinema and literature. Guests can sit there to enjoy a home-made dish or a good cocktail, but most importantly, they can go there to read or play board games with friends. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and share one’s passion for pop culture.

Valuing a “conscious lifestyle” approach

The experience is important for customers, but not only. More and more, the public is concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy and their origin, and is aiming for a healthy and responsible lifestyle that they want to apply in their daily lives and in their purchases. By promoting a more responsible approach, traders are responding to this demand. This more conscious approach can start with simple details, here are a few pointers.

Local products

Offering local products generally reduces the environmental impact of our consumption, since the transport of goods is limited. It also supports the economy of the region or country and improves product traceability.

Namely: in Europe, 89% of the population declares to appreciate consuming local products.  Indeed, the local is often synonymous with quality for European consumers.

Many food shops specialise in local products and offer only national or even regional products and often in bulk to limit packaging and differentiate themselves from supermarkets. The Barn in Belgium therefore offers organic and local products in its permanent covered markets.

It is not only food businesses that are encouraged by the public to follow this trend. More and more people value locally made furniture, clothing and cosmetics. Indigène, a Belgian cosmetic brand, mainly uses natural raw materials from Belgium and countries bordering. In addition, their products are made in Brussels. They are therefore locally produced and environmentally friendly.

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© GreenMeow

A new style of consumption

A new way of consumption is progressively settling in at a certain target. This public is concerned about the environment, recycling, human contact and the way they spend their time and money. Many businesses are therefore adapting to this movement and offering alternative solutions to the products and services we already know.

This is the case of Yuman, a Brussels shop whose aim is to limit environmental impact by reducing waste and producing locally. Yuman offers products and services from the circular economy for durable consumption.

It is in this context that slow fashion was also born. Some buyers no longer adhere to the classic pattern of buying and throwing away regularly. This is why some brands propose to give a second life to clothes, or scraps of unused fabrics. Les récupérables in Paris has built its concept on this principle: all clothes are made from unused French fabrics and second-hand clothes.

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Les Récupérables

Other brands advocate 100% natural like My Green Brands, a small Parisian boutique. This shop sells cosmetic products produced by small and medium producers, from natural products. The brand is also attentive to the working conditions of those who make the products and the impact of these products on the body. In short, it is a 100% ethical shop!

To conclude, there are two strong trends that stand out for this post-lockdown period: offering an enriching experience and being part of a sustainable lifestyle. 

Also to be read

Display art online: the good examples to follow

Lifestyle post lockdown: the evolutions

Post-lockdown: What are the new trends for businesses?

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