As we close out the first month to what looks like will be another challenging year for the retail industry, we are reviewing how we can encourage and enable retail businesses to level up their offerings and enhance customer experiences. Appointedd’s CEO and Founder, Leah Hutcheon sat down (virtually of course) with the Retail Director for Mamas & Papas, Marcus Appleton and Go-Instore’s Global Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Roger Sowerbutts, to discuss the changing landscape of retail and what opportunities are available.

So let’s review some of the key points discussed.


Necessity has definitely been established, we’re nearly a year into a pandemic with fluctuating levels of restrictions – locally and globally – and flexible digital solutions are stepping up to the plate. Go-Instore found client usage of their virtual retail experience service grew dramatically following lockdown measures, with a modest number of 15-20 sales associates per brand using the service for their customers pre-lockdown to this number growing to an excess of 2500 per brand. It’s evident that your retail business needs to be ready to adapt. 

There’s also the impact on consumer behaviour to consider. At Appointedd it’s our business to understand changes in consumer habits in order for us to deliver our scheduling and engagement solutions effectively. We recently posted about a survey we conducted to establish consumer perception on in-store shopping habits. As of December 2020, a staggering 46.7% of shoppers are unlikely to return to their previous levels of in-store shopping. In light of this, are you going to create and deliver the same shopping experience for your customer? 

It’s clear that there is an absolute need for virtual services and experiences for retail businesses, and obviously even more so in light of the pandemic and the continuing ripple effect this will have on the retail industry. But appointment booking and virtual retail experiences aren’t brand new concepts, in fact Appointedd celebrated its 10th birthday this month! This milestone is absolutely testament to the need for, and  longevity of virtual and digital solutions.


Where there’s a will there’s a way. Supply and demand. Whatever you want to call it, when your customer has a need to fulfil, you have an opportunity to deliver and grow. Mamas & Papas, a client of both Appointedd and Go-Instore, is a great example of this. Having integrated virtual solutions prior to lockdown, Marcus Appleton acknowledges the opportunities that are there for retailers to “embrace […] a lot of digital engagement from a brand perspective, customer experience perspective […], and of course, operational and commercial”

Mamas and Papas Website with Appointedd Online Booking System Embedded

How can you level up your retail experiences?

  • Create immersive experiences. Online video experiences are a great way to create a more human, immersive experience for your customer to still get a sense of your brand without physically being in a store.
  • Increase customer engagement. Appointment booking for virtual consultations will capture your online customers at the height of interest. Online events and employing brand ambassadors will also engage your customers and enhance your brand awareness. 
  • Expand your geographical presence. Reach and understand new markets without the need for a physical store presence.
  • Develop customer insights. Use research tools and data to build comprehensive and reliable insights into customer behaviour.
  • Deliver customer care and support. Deliver in depth and consistent customer support services with touchpoints both before and after purchase. 

All of the above and more can be utilised by retail businesses to develop and establish a valuable customer experience outside of bricks and mortar stores. Take it to the customer and deliver experience, information, transaction and support. 


As a result of retailers taking advantage of the opportunities available we are seeing some incredible growth and really positive results for the industry. On top of the pure demand for such services we are seeing increased conversion rates. For example Mamas & Papas have been seeing conversion rates of 45-50% on their virtual appointment services with additional revenue gained through other services offered via their Appointedd retail widget.

At Appointedd we’ve had positive results from a number of clients, with one furniture retailer seeing a 92% surge in orders, subsequently allowing them to also expand their team and recruit 300 team members to meet demand.

Levelling up your retail experiences is no longer an optional upgrade for your business. In order to future-proof your business for 2021 and beyond, they are essential. Whereas we’ve previously seen a disparity between bricks and mortar and online offerings, services provided by businesses like Appointedd and Go-Instore can help to close that gap and deliver a seamless omni-channel experience for both the business and the customer. This is an opportunity for you to deliver your service and engage meaningfully with your customers across all channels. The high street isn’t dead, it just needs a software update.

Published on 3 February 2021