How retail businesses can come out with CoVid19 stronger?
CoVid19 has brought the whole world to a pause, especially retailers and other consumer-facing businesses. With the physical distancing and other health restrictions and protocols being implemented, stores, companies, and other businesses have struggled while others tried their best to stay afloat in the business world. And to some businesses who succeeded to stay in the game, they had seen the importance of shifting to online selling or putting their market digitally.
As we can see, up to this date, the CoVid19 Pandemic has not come to its end. With unpredictable lockdowns and community quarantines all over the country and different variants detected now and then, no one can guarantee when will we go back to normal? With the increasing number of vaccinations rolled out, maybe we will never go back to normal but will see a new normal life shortly. The same is true in the retail business. What will the new normal in retail be like?
Retailers continue to look for the appropriate approach to cope with this pandemic for their employees, customers, and their business. For retailers to stay afloat and to come out stronger amidst these challenges here are some recommendations that they must take action immediately to survive this challenging and unprecedented situation.
First, retailers must shift from a business continuity plan to crisis management.
As a response to the pandemic, retail owners will not only plan on how their business will grow but also how to survive amid this health crisis. With the pandemic as a health crisis, business owners need to plan how to keep their employees, staff, and customers safe and healthy. Retailers also must reassure customers and colleagues, and manage the unpredictable supply chain constraints and demand shocks by concentrating on critical business activities and generating contingency plans for these disruptions, especially in these unsettling times where travel, delivery, and supply of goods are unpredictable. After the initial plans and actions prescribed by the management, they need to direct their response based on the actual situation they face or will face in each situation of every day. The challenge is to adapt to the ever-changing occurrences in the everyday health protocols, store operation guidelines and protocols, logistics, and pricing that changes day by day because of the pandemic. All retailers need to secure their contingency plans to continuously run their business in this time of uncertainties and crisis.
The second is to increase resilience and embrace digital marketing.
Being resilient in this time of pandemic is very important the new normal in our everyday lives especially if we have a business to run. Technology is one of the lead responses of retailers to make their businesses survive. Digital marketing is also the best resource to survive in the retailing business in this pandemic. With people restricted to go outside but have their mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets with internet connections in their hands, they tend to look for ways how to get or buy their needs without going out of their houses. Retailers can use online retail stores, social media, websites, and other forms of online platforms to serve their customers better while being safe at home. Being online can also mean that retailers can cut costs on their stall or store rents, they can just also work anywhere anytime. In addition to that, there will be no physical contact which will save both parties from contracting the virus. With the help of good logistics and delivery services, retailers can serve their customers to fulfill their online orders. With retailers adopting this change and going digital, they can make it happen and can reach much more customers this way.
And lastly, create a long-term plan.
Looking at the situation today, this pandemic is far from over. It means that retailers must know how to manage their business in this situation for a long time. As the vaccination roll-out going on, some people are now willing to go out and buy in physical stores while some still want to take extra precautions in going out. Also, health and safety protocols are still up like physical distancing, wearing of masks and face shields, temperature checks, and frequent disinfection. Retailers with physical stores must make sure to always include these protocols in their plans for the safety of their employees, customers, and business. Having a physical store and a digital one is the best combination that you can have for a long-term plan. With people enjoying buying their necessities, groceries, cravings, and even wants online and delivered door-to-door, online shopping will definitely stay. So, having this combination can make your retail business come out strongly amidst the CoVid19 pandemic. With the right plan, platforms, and strategies, businesses can stay afloat in this time of pandemic while still following the health and safety protocols.