Slowly and cautiously, physical stores are reopening across the country. Stores are an expensive, fixed cost so getting consumers back in the doors is a priority. Quick, local communication is key. We are hearing foot traffic is down, but intent to buy is higher so the average dollars spent per customer is higher.
Understanding the fears and hesitation of resuming pre-COVID-19 activities, brands are notifying customers in local trade areas of re-openings with emails that reassure shopping safety and inform the public with crucial facts such as new store hours and services, like curbside pick-up.
Arhaus – Email – May 7, 2020
Subject line: Update: Your Arhaus Store is Open
Content: Safety precautions, limited hours, and virtual design consultations
ULTA – Email – May 12, 2020
Subject line: An update from our CEO
Content: Curbside pick-up, safety precautions, GLAMlab interactive virtual try-on experience and half-price haircut offer for healthcare heroes
Anthropologie – Email – May 1, 2020
Subject line: Renee, stores near your have reopened (& a special offer is waiting!)
Content: Safety precautions, curbside pick-up, and an in-store only offer
Room&Board – Email – May 9, 2020
Subject line: Now open in Atlanta
Content: Safety precautions, free design services, free in-home delivery, and a 0% financing offer
REI – Email – May 12, 2020
Subject line: Re-opening our stores
Content: Safety precautions, curbside pick-up, soft mention of Anniversary Sale, and support of their Outdoor Emergency Fund
J.CREW – Email – May 13, 2020
Subject line: We look forward to seeing you in stores
Content: Safety precautions, curbside pick-up, contactless payments
Announcing store re-openings to customers in-store areas via email is a great first step; email open rates have been up double digits! (An aside: if you’ve not seen a lift in your email performance as compared to pre-COVID levels, an audit of your email program will pinpoint weaknesses. Contact Calla Murphy, Sr. Director of Digital, and ask about an Email Deep Dive.) But as was true pre-COVID, a multi-touch, multi-channel campaign is key to driving response. Especially now, one touch and one channel are not enough to drive a hesitant public.
Another channel that can easily be customized by local store re-open dates is direct mail. Brands with past direct mail programs can leverage their customer files and prospecting mail files and get a postcard or trifold into consumers’ hands in three weeks or less, a perfect follow-up to a cadence of three emails per week.
Here are two postcard concepts for inspiration. One recalls the pleasure of in-store shopping while the other focuses on in-store shopping safety.
Our fingers are crossed that country-wide re-openings are in the very near future. Of course, that means planning and execution should be underway now. If you would like to brainstorm a strategy or creative for a market recovery plan, we’re here to help.