Hershey recently participated in a study with Retail Dive, where it explored the needs of retailers. The Hershey Company gathered critical insights from retailers regarding the importance of redesigning and discovering new spaces in retail following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the 160 retailers participating in the study say they are planning to update their store space to provide a more convenient and efficient shopping experience for consumers, including continued growth opportunities like paypoints and cashier-less checkouts. Finding ways to redesign these spaces is important to meet evolving consumer expectations, improve customer experience, streamline operations and increase basket size.

According to the 2022 survey, 61.6% of the surveyed retailers plan to significantly renovate or update their store space in the next 1-5 years – the most popular update being the addition of new paypoints in their locations.

“In our survey, we found that 37.8% of retailers plan to increase the number of paypoints in their stores within the next year,” said Gina Peterson, senior manager of retail experience, The Hershey Company. “This is critical for many retailers in order to meet new expectations from consumers and continue to help drive bigger baskets. We can expect the trend toward more self-checkout and cashier-less paypoints to continue.”

Of note, 73.8% of retailers surveyed said that the front-end floor design in their store plays a role in customers’ unplanned purchases, and 47.6% of surveyed[1] retailers are motivated to make front-end renovations and updates to help improve customer experience. Adding new paypoints helps increase purchases, especially unplanned buys.

Additionally, more paypoints can solve other challenges for retailers, too. While nearly 30% of respondents said that the greatest challenge to their location is staffing shortages, 34.8% said adding more self-checkout paypoints will help alleviate their staffing challenges. 31.1% of retailers even stated they envision a cashier-less future in their stores within the next 1-5 years.  

The majority of retailers surveyed also shared that online shopping will make up more of their sales moving forward. While 15.9% of surveyed retailers predict more than half of their sales will derive from e-commerce in 2022, that percentage jumps to 26.8% of retailers who expect e-commerce to yield more than half of their total sales by 2027. However, unplanned and “treat myself moments” in stores continue to remain the driving forces for consumers.

“The trend of digital commerce sales continues to accelerate, but we know that consumers are mostly purchasing their products in stores,” said Peterson. “Unplanned buys and occasions are still important for consumers, which is why we are dedicated to helping our retail partners grow in new and innovative ways in their locations.”