There were two interesting statistics revealed this week around the retail landscape and the easing of the Covid restrictions in the UK. Springboard showed that the number of people visiting shops rose 0.5% in the week ending 15 May versus the previous week. However, that went down by 3% this Monday compared to the same time a week earlier.                    

So what does that mean? Does it show that people aren’t planning on going into shops anymore despite further restrictions lifting on 17 May? Or that potentially it was just due to the bad weather that day? What it really comes down is people are still being careful and getting used to what the ‘new normal’ will be. It's clear consumer buying behaviour changed during the pandemic but, as the rules change, people are readjusting again and testing what suits them best moving forward. And that could be sticking to online, going back in-store, doing a bit of both or even going in-store for a different reason.

For brands and marketers this is a tough position to be in. How do you connect with your customers successfully if they are going to change the way they want to buy or hear from you in a short period of time? The answer is flexibility and listening. Brands will have to be flexible in how they connect with their customers over the next few months and they will do that by continually listening to customers about what they want, gathering data and then adapting accordingly.

The next few months will certainly be hard for the retail industry. The brands that remain flexible and adjust their business models to support their customers – those are the brands that will set themselves up for success as this post pandemic landscape unfolds.