Scala Blog - Car Park Creativity

Blog | Car Park Creativity

Why do industry experts believe that the car park could hold the key for building the business of retail brands? Darren Cremins shares his own car park concerns and his thoughts on how retailers can use their car park space to reinforce their brand and build a stronger relationship with customers.

Retailers Miss the Mark… in Car Parks

Travel restrictions have meant that my family has had to get crafty and creative with how we holiday. Sticking to the British Isles, we’ve become adept at loading into various styles of accommodation from yurt to canal boat. As well as making sure we’ve charged every device, and packed our rain jackets, we also make sure that we know where our next meal is coming from, often opting for an online grocery order that we’ll pick up en route.

Using click-and-collect locations across the UK, I’ve been struck by the inconsistencies in how different supermarket brands and locations structure their service. Signage is sometimes unclear, and often getting your shopping involves ringing a doorbell and waiting for the best part of ten minutes for a member of staff to help you out. The whole process often feels more clandestine than picking up paid-for sweet potatoes and vegan cheese probably should.

Almost two out of three retailers to invest in click-and-collect

The inconsistencies in the click-and-collect service are frustrating and, if smoothed out, would definitely encourage my custom — and I’d imagine the loyalty of other customers too. From research Scala commissioned this year, we know that 61% of European retailers, not just grocers, are planning to invest in their click-and-collect offering, recognising it as an opportunity to build footfall and encourage business growth. Working for a leading digital signage company, I can easily imagine the positive difference that digital solutions and SaaS can make to the click-and-collect process, but the opportunity for the car park is greater than just picking up shopping.

We asked European retail brands about their interest in optimising available car parking space as part of our larger research report, Recovery Solutions and Store Strategies for Retail Brands. Looking at the larger data, we have used the retailer responses to create a solutions report dedicated to unlocking the potential of the car park. Making click and collect more efficient is one way to get more out of the car park, but there are also opportunities around easier returns, as well as the prospect to build customer loyalty and brand affiliation.

The potential for grocers

For me, I see huge potential for grocers, who obviously have the space to play with. Beyond refining and making the click-and-collect process more accessible for all, grocers can use their car park as a space to reinforce brand values, like supporting local producers with events such as farmer’s markets. However, optimising the car park can benefit retailers of all types. There is even the opportunity for brands to work together, making the most of centralised car parking spaces as a location for collections, returns or to attract footfall, helping to bolster a variety of businesses along the high street.

The solution report, Sales Spark on the Car Park, is now available to download here. You can also read the larger research report, Recovery Solutions and Store Strategies for Retail Brands, here. If you want to know more about how Scala can help your business expand its customer offering or if you want to know my yurt recommendations, you can reach me at darren.cremins@scala.com.