As consumers go back to work and students to school, retailers are working to reopen stores and shops. It’s important for consumers, students, and especially retailers to realize the world they’re going back to this fall is fundamentally different than the world was last spring.
COVID-19’s impact on the retail industry has been transformational and will continue to create new problems and opportunities. Retail has been a roller coaster with a 14.7% percent drop in April – the largest drop in almost 30 years, followed by a record breaking upswing of 17.7% in May.
One thing is certain, the roller coaster is still on the tracks and the ride hasn’t finished yet. As you work through your reopening strategy take the time to make the changes in operations, service, and policies that answer new customer wants and needs. This is your chance to transform your business and guarantee your future.
eCommerce + BOPIS/CSD + In-Store = Future
eCommerce: One thing that has been made clear over the last few months is the overwhelming necessity for a solid, functional and reliable internet storefront. eCommerce sky-rocketed as lock-downs spread across the country. Retailers who didn’t have a website were reduced to hanging signs in their windows which customers didn’t see since they were sheltering in their homes.
If you haven’t launched a site yet you’re running out of time. While developing an omnichannel approach is crucial remember that due diligence is important when selecting an eCommerce provider.
A Google search for “eCommerce website development” returned 388,000,000 results so choosing the right partner can be time consuming. Things to consider when you’re choosing a storefront or hosting provider include: are they reliable and well reviewed, ease of product and offering updates, ease of stock level updates, shipping, and payment processing.
BOPIS/CSD: Buy Online Pickup In Store and Curb Side Delivery have become extremely popular options for businesses, especially restaurant, grocery and household consumable retailer.
When planning a BOPIS/CSD launch it’s important to consider several important points including is there convenient, available parking for customers picking up in store and is there enough open curb for curb side delivery.
Also consider if you have enough staff to pick orders that come in via your website or app, as well as enough staff to make sure BOPIS/CSD customers receive their orders quickly and efficiently.
In-Store: No discussion of the current state of retail, especially for Brick and Mortar businesses, can be complete with out discussing health and safety. Customers need to know that your store is clean and that your employees are taking all the recommended precautions to prevent infection and contamination.
Establishing new safety standards shouldn’t be considered temporary or stop gap. Update and modify processes based on the latest information and recommendations must become a normal par of your business process.
Make sure your customers know what you’re doing to provide them the safest shopping experience possible. Include prominent signage on customer requirements like use of masks and social distancing, and make sure your employees follow the rules as well.