The global coronavirus pandemic has upended most businesses in countries that are affected by the virus. On top of that, global supply chains have been disrupted and this has also meant that business owners are having to adapt.
There are a wide range of types of retail businesses and these will all be affected by COVID-19 regulations differently. Some of the advice can, however, be applied no matter what kind of retail business you run.
Read on to discover tips for your business and what you should focus on during this time and, perhaps, beyond.
Convenience stores and supermarkets
If you are running a retail business that sells essential items, you will have been allowed to stay open through this time. Many customers are shopping as locally as possible as travel has been restricted. This will give smaller shops an advantage in attracting customers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels. If you have remained open during the crisis or if you are soon going to open, remember that you need to make your customers feel safe.
Put restrictions in place to prevent too many people entering at the same time and, when you have people queuing outside your shop, put markings on the floor that can indicate the government-recommended 3-6 foot distance that people should leave between them.
You could also go above and beyond and offer your customers a sanitation station before entering your shop. You should also provide masks and hand sanitiser for all of your staff in order to keep them safe at work.
Creating an environment in which your customers feel cared for will breed a sense of loyalty that will mean they will return even after the crisis.
If you are considering buying a business at the moment, a convenience store is a good investment if you are able to implement the above-mentioned precautions! Consider the available options carefully in order to find a convenience store that will be able to keep your customers safe.
Clothing and non-perishable goods retail
If you do not sell what is considered to be essential goods, you have probably had to close your shop during this time. This will, however, have been an ideal time to get your ecommerce options up and running.
If you do not already, adding Shopify or another online shopping platform to your website will allow you to sell your goods online. You will need to plan how you will carry out this operation, but it will be worth it even after the immediate future as the face of retail shifts to being more and more online.
While setting up your online shop and getting your products ready for shipping, put the work into your marketing so that customers know that you are ready for online shoppers.
You will need to get really great photographs of your products in order to put them online. These images can also be used on your Instagram account where customers can shop directly through the app.
Announcing on your social media is a good way to get the word out about the availability of your products online. If you are focused on local customers, you can drop a flyer through their letter boxes. As a local business, you could even deliver by bicycle in order to offer a more personalised service.
All retail businesses
No matter what you stock and sell, you need to be aware of the messaging that you are sending out during this time. Think about the ways that you can support your local community during this crisis and focus on helping. Customers will connect more with businesses that show their humanity right now.
Can you offer your support to a food bank? Are you able to make and some kind of PPE for those that need it? You could even offer free delivery to anyone that is self-isolating.
Let your content speak to your customers about your efforts and start building a relationship with them. People are going to be choosing wisely when it comes to where they spend their money and you want to make sure that it’s you that they choose.
Investing in a retail business could be a great option while interest rates are so low. Be careful to consider the above tips in your search for a retail business so that you can find one that will be able to weather the storm.
Author: Anthea Taylor is a Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable, including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.