It’s never easy to be in the retail business, but some periods are more difficult than others. This is especially the case right now, during the coronavirus pandemic. While many businesses have been negatively impacted (though some have also thrived), it’s brick and mortar stores that have been hit particularly hard. The good news is that the good times will return again, at one point or another. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few key actions that’ll help you to find success after the worst of COVID-19 has passed.
Get the Infrastructure
While you may be able to open your store before a cure for the virus has been found, you’ll need to ensure that you’re taking proper precautions. For starters, it’s important that we all do our bit to minimize the spread of the disease. If it gets out of control, then we’ll have to live under tighter rules. Then there’s the matter of customer trust. Your customers won’t risk visiting your store if they don’t believe that you’re taking the threat of coronavirus seriously. Before you open, have a think about what your place will look like, what measures you’ll put in, and order a healthy amount of alcohol gel and gloves.
Move to Online
You may have a retail store business, but if there was any time to look at selling your products online, this is it. There’s one sector that has done extremely well as a result of coronavirus: online stores! You only need to take a look at how much money Jeff Bezos has made in the past few months to see that. It’s easy enough to set up an online store. While your brick and mortar may still be your top priority, selling your products online can be an excellent way to keep things ticking over until you’re back and operating at full speed.
Open at the Right Time
You’ll be itching to get your store open again. However, in this climate, it’s important that you’re not rushing things. We all need to take coronavirus seriously, and especially businesses. Public spaces can be hotspots for the spread of the disease, after all. In any case, even if you don’t personally see coronavirus as a threat, your customers will! Opening too early could send a bad message to your customers. If you don’t know how to handle your re-opening or you’re unsure what the best approach is, then look at working with a retail consulting firm. They will help to formulate a plan that’ll please your customers and staff, and make sure that your company is able to provide the best possible experience when you’re finally back open.
There’s no avoiding the fact that the pandemic will have hit your business hard. You’ll need to start making money as soon as possible. While there’ll be space to bring new customers on board (more on them later), your first port of call should be to appeal to your loyal customers. Perhaps the best way to do this is to simply be honest. If it’s been an especially tough period for your business, then tell them so. You’ll find that people who have had a positive interaction with your business before will be happy to buy from you in order to give you a boost. Your social media channels can be especially good for communicating this message.
Of course, you can’t rely on your loyal customers to keep your business going all the time. As such, you’ll want to look at appealing to new customers too. Perhaps the best way to do this is to make them an offer that they can’t refuse. Remember that many people will have had their finances impacted by the coronavirus, so they may not have as much money as usual. If you can put together a package or discounts that are affordable, then you’ll find that you get plenty of interest!
Give it Time
Finally, keep in mind that you’re unlikely to hit the ground running when you finally re-open. The first few days may be slow, in large part because people may not be strolling the shopping district as frequently as they usually do. So be patient. If you keep on doing what you do, then eventually the customers will return! It’s going to be some time before we can all well and truly say that the coronavirus pandemic is a thing of the past, but that day will come eventually.