The brick & mortar retail market places served consumers for over 5 millennia and thrived through a multitude of pandemics far more deadly than COVID-19. It is a perceived convenience and reach of online shopping that makes people question the survival of this traditional method of CPG delivery, particularly at times when fear defines consumer experience marketing.
While overall convenience of the online shopping experience is indisputable, there are many consumer products/categories that do not easily fit into this model. They need a personal, face-to face, high touch approach of consumer experience marketing and in store sampling and tasting. Here are just a few examples:
Many new grocery brands and specialty food sales nearly collapsed because they depended on consumers “discovering” them. A discovery is not a result of a search, consumers come upon new products to them and recognize their value to them after trying or tasting them
To paraphrase Mark Twain - the news about the death of brick and mortar retail are greatly exaggerated. Innovations of e-commerce used to improve CPG experience marketing and overall customer experience are greatly appreciated by all, but humans are social animals. After vaccinations and immunity take the edge from necessity of social distancing, consumers will return in droves to the stores to taste new products, to squeeze their tomatoes and to enjoy human interactions again.