Can socially distanced stores make a profit?

Post by
Jamie O'Brien
Can socially distanced stores make a profit?
More purposeful shopping could mean higher conversion rates
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When stores reopen we will definitely see a change in consumer behaviour and the way people shop. Shoppers will aim to avoid unnecessary interactions and will be more purposeful with their shopping. This will inevitably lead to less browsing and as a result lead to less product engagement, but could very well lead to higher conversion rates. During a time where product engagement is decreased, but conversion is higher; it is important that retailer adapt their stores for purposeful shopping.

Keep it fast, keep it moving

With the aim of adapting to more purposeful shopping some of our customers have set up a ‘fast-track-everything’ schemes, where customers can order products on the website while standing in the queue, and effectively operates as a fast click and collect service. Fast-tracking everything is allowing retailers to serve more people an hour than they would be restricted to with socially distanced stores and saves customers from having to wander around the store.

What realistic benchmarks can be set?
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Food stores have adapted really well to this crisis, with some seeming to thrive, but the likes of the pharmacy and health and beauty retailers are definitely not trading at anything like what they were pre-coronavirus. Boots announced that it was trading at 75%, yet they are an essential retailer. Perhaps, 75% is a benchmark that non-essential retailers can aim for as they begin to reopen in the coming weeks. The general consensus seems to be that sales volumes won’t return to anything resembling normality until the second half of 2021. Many national retailers are understandably apprehensive around reopening and it’s going to be very much a case of looking at phased re-openings. Aura Vision is a video analytics solution that helps retailers implement and adapt store reopening plans by analyzing data from live camera feeds.

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